Nursing Care

nuring care picNursing homes can be very costly and not everyone can afford this facility. In this case, we are thankful to God that mum is eligible for government subsidy which is subject to yearly review known as ‘means testing’.

In my opinion, the care given to mum in the nursing home, in general, has benefitted her a lot, compared to employing a maid at home to look after her, in terms of expenses and geriatric care. Although having a maid at home may also be beneficial to some others, depending on their circumstance.

In all fairness, this statement could be subjective for every individual, both for the care giver and the recipient, as every household has different challenges in consolidating every collaborative effort rendered to the recipient.

Having said that, I also realised that we can’t possibly leave everything to the maid or nurses’ care. When I happened to check mum’s ears and clean it recently, I was shocked to see the amount of wax buildup, to the extent that the wax particles turned blackish, and there was an unpleasant smell in her right ear.

At that point in time, it also donned on me that family support plays an integral part, in addition to the care giving, as there are limitations to what a care giver can give or the nurses’ care in the nursing home.

Thank God, I managed to take out the thick lump of wax in both mum’s ears and was able to do it gently with a steady hand, caution and patience, using a bright torchlight.

A month later, I brought mum to see an ‘ENT’ specialist and the doctor suggested to do a hearing test which was done in a sound proof room. I felt the process was quite amusing, when mum interacted with the technician, gesturing with their hands to communicate with each other, as she was wearing the listening device headset.

In conclusion of the consultation, the doctor cautioned me that it’s best to let the ears ‘clean by itself ‘ to avoid risk of puncturing mum’s ear drums if we try to clean it as the consequences could be detrimental.

Phew! Just how naïve I was.



Dementia and Statin

dementia pills picAs a new consumer of statin drug, presumably, to reduce my high level of bad cholesterol (LDL), I have been pondering over the controversies on the side- effects and, especially, how it affects dementia.

I’m thinking if statin has attributed to my mother’s dementia as she has been taking it for the past 20 years or so. It was not until 2 years ago that the symptoms of dementia began to show mildly and progressively on her.

Many of us know that there has been a lot of internet forum discussions on the side effects of statin which are divided into ‘2 camps’ -either ‘for’ or ‘against’.

I hope my dear readers will talk about their experiences, opinions or comments so that we can all benefit from this discussion and be better informed in managing dementia as a care giver.

Perhaps there is some truth in the excerpt of the following article that may be worthwhile in considering the pros and cons of statin:

My First Encounter With Dementia

Hi, my name is Daniel.

As this is my first blog post, let me start by thanking every visitors to my blog.

Please let me share my  journey briefly.

I am a care giver for my mum who is 90 years old. My wife, siblings and in-laws help along too.

My journey in getting acquainted with “Dementia” began, in 2013, when we first noticed my mother constantly tapping her fingers on the armchair where she sat.

An image of an elderly woman foretting if she took her medicine.

She was also beginning to frequently  forget if she had taken her regular health supplements as the days passed by.

The real journey began when mum was admitted to the hospital, after she had a fall in the bathroom, because her health gradually weakened due to a viral infection. The doctor confirmed that she had slight dementia when she was in the hospital. That’s when we finally came to terms that mum has dementia and needed care giving (either a maid or nursing care).

My family began to ‘brainstorm’ in finding the best means of care giving for mum. It was a tedious process that entailed open discussions, quarrels, corporate decision-making, fact findings and information, patience and prayers. But despite of all those challenges, eventually, we had everyone in my family agreeing that the only one objective and decision making must be for mum’s happiness and well-being.

We started by trying to employ a maid but it wasn’t meant to be, after interviewing a few prospects and having selected one, because the maid agency couldn’t get her work permit approved eventually.

Then we worked on the next option of finding a nursing home with the government’s subsidy (p.s. – understandably, the ‘means testing’ was tight, strict and thorough which was intended to prevent abuse of the government’s subsidy grant for eligible applicants).

Apart from the long administrative processes, we also had to put in extra effort to view the  nursing homes, from the selection list provided by the social welfare worker, in order to make a well-informed decision to make the right selection.

We are thankful to God that we finally found a nursing home that mum settled in gradually, without much difficulty, despite of the new lifestyle adjustments for her.

In short, mum’s admission to the nursing home has opened our eyes to a new perspective that to put your loved one in a nursing home, with good facilities, passionate and dedicated nursing staffs, isn’t a bad decision after all.

Some of you readers, from Singapore, may find ‘Five Useful Websites for Caregivers’ relevant and helpful for the search in enhancing your caregiving management:

Finally, I am sure readers have different encounters in coping with dementia, whether as a care giver or recipient.

Please feel free to comment or share your experiences.

Have a good day and cheers!