FORMER The entrepreneur wanted to become a professional caregiver after taking care of her mother, an 86-year-old stroke patient with dementia.
Caring for her mother taught Norsharipah Lokeman many life lessons. She also gained experience that cannot be obtained from books or nursing school.
“My mom is the reason I was encouraged to take up nursing, even though it wasn’t my job. I was an entrepreneur; however, when I provide care services, I feel satisfied,” said Norsharipah, also known as Sherry Lokeman.
Her mother was a very healthy person. Suddenly she began to lose her memory after a stroke. “At first I couldn’t deal with it,” admitted the caregiver, who struggled to cope with her mother’s condition. To make matters worse, her mother, Hadji Tima, also had osteoporosis.
At first she did not know what to do and “did everything blindly.” She then looked up YouTube videos and learned how to change adult diapers, how to deal with emotional stress, and how to deal with her mother not sleeping two or three days in a row.
After years of caring for her mother’s health and well-being and helping with daily chores and chores, she realized that taking care of others gave her pleasure and this motivated her to start her caregiving journey.
She enrolled at the Sahara Academy and took training courses in cardiopulmonary resuscitation as well as nursing courses. The 54-year-old is now a professional carer for Homage Care Services.
Homage Care Services provides trained caregivers for adults and the elderly and offers services such as Assistance in Daily Living (ADL) to help people with physical disabilities and illnesses such as dementia, stroke, Parkinson’s disease and cancer.
As a professional caregiver, she has been caring for elderly people suffering from various conditions such as occipital stroke, osteoporosis and dementia, as well as those who are partially bedridden, since she joined Homage three years ago.
“My heart is with them. When I was running my business, I felt good when sales were good, but when I was taking care of the sick and elderly, I felt contentment deep within me. I am satisfied with my work, because I do good to people. I don’t have much money, but when I take care of it, both emotionally and physically, I feel very good,” she said.
Speaking about her mother’s dementia, she said that patients often forget where they are and what they are doing. Her mother often forgets if she has eaten her lunch.
“When you lose your memory, you forget who you are,” she said, adding that people with dementia often live in their own world.
However, not everyone behaves the same, and this is the biggest problem. One of her dementia patients became frustrated, angry, and started throwing things.
“I took their hands and began to rub them to calm the patient. Sometimes they will listen and sometimes they won’t. When they get angry or become aggressive, they will do things like bend spoons. At such moments, I had to move away from the situation, ”she said.
She remembered the moment when her mother started screaming for no reason. “That’s not who she is. She’s not crazy, she just lost her memory. Some people with dementia ran out of the house and forgot their way home.”
Sometimes people with dementia cannot feel pain when they hurt themselves during a fit of anger. After recovering from the episode, they won’t even know why they felt pain in a certain place or how they got hurt.
Get help and don’t abuse
She advised children and spouses living with dementia to “not take it personally” when they behave badly because they are not themselves. “You have to really understand their condition and not abuse older people either physically or verbally.”
Older adults who are at risk of abuse are those who are dependent and have a lower income or suffer from poor physical health, mental disorders, or excessive stress due to chronic fatigue.
Some older people are not given food, she says, or they sit around with dirty diapers or get into fights when they’re out of their minds. Here are some of the activities that she also considers abuse.
She recounted an incident where a high school student was left with dirty diapers for several hours until she came on duty at 2:00 pm. “If you don’t care about their needs, even if you don’t talk to them, it’s considered an insult to me,” she said.
On another occasion, she visited a home care recipient and found her lying in a pool of blood on the floor of her room. It turned out that the elderly woman forgot that she could no longer walk and tried to do so, causing her to fall and hurt her head.
These were some of the tough times she had to deal with at work, but that didn’t stop her from pursuing her passion. Instead, she advises family members to take care of their vulnerable seniors rather than waiting for a caregiver to show up on the doorstep to help.
Despite the differences in how she treats her own mother and the other charges, she finds similarities. In both situations, she had to learn to be patient.
“When you take on the role of guardian, you have to be very sensitive and vigilant. When you enter their room, you should smile and not show a sour face. [Patients] I love listening to people sing or tell jokes,” she said.
In fact, her cheerful and cheerful nature and exceptional care have made it easy for her to form good relationships with the family members of the patients at home, and they usually ask her to come back to help their parents.
She cherishes these relationships with family members, but she focuses more on building relationships with beneficiaries, as this is more important to her.
If the family is unable to care for the elderly, then their children should hire a professional nurse to come to their home. “Please take care of yourself and don’t leave them alone in their world. They need our support to do the basic things in their daily lives. As people, we have to take care of our seniors,” she advised.