“If you’re lucky enough to have grandparents — visit them, cherish them and celebrate them while you can.”
When Vijitha’s grandmother passed away, little did she know that it was the beginning of her humble journey of caregiving. She was only 15 then, and today, she hopes to inspire the rest by sharing her personal caregiving experience.
My grandparents, my everything
My childhood was one to remember and I hugely owe it to my grandparents. Grandparents are known to shower their grandchildren with tender, loving care. My grandparents were no exception. They took great care of me, stood in as my playmates, read me stories but most importantly, they were the ones who set my moral compass. Life was a fairytale and everything seemed perfect… until I had to experience losing them.
I was 7 when my grandpa passed on unexpectedly. Thankfully, my family was there for him as he lived his last few days. His remaining days were filled with moments of joy and laughter spent with his grandchildren. To have witnessed such endearing moments even through his numbered days was truly a blessing.
As we grew older, we were caught up with our own schedules. Life became increasingly challenging as we balanced heavier responsibilities at work and were more involved in school. That was when my beloved grandma passed away. It made me realize that there is such a thin line between life and death.
The thought of how none of us were there for my grandma still hurts me and I wish I could have been more present while she was alive. Unlike my experience with my grandpa, the time spent with grandma was short-lived. If I could travel back in time, I would stay by her side and love her to the best of my abilities. I would have wanted her to feel secure, happy and most importantly, cherished. My grandma taught me two valuable lessons: the importance of never taking the loved ones around us for granted and to invest time and effort into building relationships with them.
Grandpa and grandma, I will always hold you dear to my heart.
Words I wish I could have told my grandma before she left
To me, grief never ends but it changes. Over time, my longing for my grandmother’s presence developed a resolve to do something in memory of her. It was then that I realised I wanted a second chance to take better care of seniors. Hence, I chose the road less travelled and became a caregiver.
Caregiving was not an entirely new experience for me as living with my grandparents meant that I grew up providing care to them. This journey brought me to where I am now; that I want to be able to care, love and meet people’s needs, especially those who are in need of assistance. Delivering care to seniors in the comfort of their home would allow seniors to age with dignity. It may not be the most glamorous job, but the smile on their faces remind me that it is all worth it.
Caregiving for seniors
Throughout my caregiving journey, patience is key. Taking care of seniors is certainly no easy feat but understanding their behaviour and accommodating to their needs is all part of the learning process. This translates to how I give care to other seniors.
During the initial visits, seniors take quite some time to warm up to me due to the unfamiliarity. However, engaging in light conversations and attuning the way I provide care to them has made them more receptive towards me. The way we provide care benefits the seniors as well as reflects our sincerity in wanting to give them the best care possible.
I take pride in being a caregiver. Putting the needs of others before mine so that I can better assist them has always been an honour to me. Knowing how a smile on one’s face can bring joy and happiness to someone else is priceless. The moments when you reflect back to see how you have helped someone is what caregiving is all about. When one has the heart and will to serve, caregiving is no longer just another job, but one that brings joy to me and the people around me.
Inspired by her personal caregiving journey, Vijitha joined Homage as a Care Pro with the goal of caring for seniors in the comfort of their own home.