Care and concern are always the best gift for seniors. Why?
As a staff working at a nursing home, I will do ward rounding from time to time to ensure the facilities and equipment within the home are in good condition. Besides greeting and saying “Hi”, we also have the opportunity to chitchat with our beloved residents to get their updates and feedback if there is anything that we could help and relieve them from their concerns and worries.
Occasionally, we will get to know the “long-term secrets” that had been longed to be shared, especially senior citizens, regardless of if it is family, health condition, and other concerns.
The most common concern that I have heard is pertaining to their children and family members. Though majority of them are forgetful along with age, they are able to guide me down his / her memory lane and shared interesting stories and fun experiences when they were young, they are indeed proud of who they grow up to be today.
However, as time goes by, you can hear the voice of sadness; you can see teary eyes; and you can feel their disappointment.
“Young lady, let me share with you, I’ve not seen my children/family for a long time. I’m very grateful that you are here to chitchat with me. Thank you. I’m very appreciative.” They shared.
How would you react upon hearing this?
Fortunately, I had the chance to visit various welfare organizations such as old folks’ homes, orphanages, and homes for children with disabilities. Hence, I had experience in how to respond to make them feel better.
“Oh, really? Maybe they are busy with their work, so they couldn’t visit you at this moment… No worries, I’ll be here often and chitchat with you.”
After pandemic, I’ve more options to respond to such statement.
“Oh, really? Due to the pandemic, our border is closed and hence your children can’t visit you temporarily. Once the border reopens, they will be here with you!”
“They might be worried that they will be infected and thus they couldn’t visit you temporarily. Who knows they will be coming once the pandemic gets better! That’s why, it is essential to take good care of yourself!”
I once asked myself, am I ever able to chitchat with them every day? No, I can’t.
Why would I share with them that I will? This is because I want them to know that there is always someone who cares, someone who is concerned and would like to be updated on their well-being.
Of course, with hope, there’s disappointment. However, disappointment is certainly better than desperation. As disappointment reaches its limit, it becomes despair. Hence, I will still greet them once a week despite my busy schedule, in hope that this can fill them with warmth and companionship.
In a nutshell, I would like to emphasize that majority of the senior citizens are not looking for wealth, expensive delicacies, and how rich their children are. They are simply concerned if their children are at the tip of their health, if they have eaten and worked through the night, just when they are still small. They are waiting for their children to visit, share their concern, care and concern for their well-being.
If you have been with your family for whatsoever reason, grab your phone and call them once you are free. They might have been longing for your call. If they are currently staying in a nursing home, you may pre-arrange a time with the nurses/caregivers to host a video call between you and your beloved.
They will be much happier even if it’s a 5-minute conversation, especially during the festive season.
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