Nursing 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’. And financially, this has eased our load in Dementia Caregiving.
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.