It is not easy to take care of your parents when you also have other responsibilities lined up. Parallel to your aging parents, either it is your child, your job or your business. For me, it was my growing business and it was no less than a child for me.
When my mother was diagnosed with cancer, I was taken aback. There were surgeries and chemotherapy involved. The cancer was removed within a few months. But a body recovering from cancer takes its own time to get back to a healthy state. While she was recovering, I had to travel around the globe throughout the year. I have spread myself across time-zones, trying to take care of my mother and my business.
Eventually, I developed a system that could take care of both. I couldn’t have put in a team of experts to run the business; because nothing was process-oriented. Every day, we were facing new challenges. On the other hand, the care that my mother needed was pretty standardized. So, I came up with a plan and hired a team of nurse at home.
I started with a team of trained nurses. One nurse could’ve done the job, but I was not ready to risk anything. One nurse was working twelve hours a day and the other one, twelve hours. Both the nurses were very well qualified and sent by the hospital where my mom was treated.
Initially, I was a bit sceptical about leaving my mom with two strangers in the house, while I was thousands of miles away. I went to the hospital to know more about the nurses. After they gave me reasonable assurance about their backgrounds, I was able to take a sigh of relief.
Having nurses in our place has been a remarkable decision. My mother was still very weak when I was in Singapore, at least a few thousand miles away from her. One night, she slipped in the bathroom. Both the nurses immediately rushed to her help and got her to the bed. She did not face any injuries. From that night onward, my mother did not have to go to the bathroom all by herself – because both the nurses took it upon themselves to help her out.
Not just regular care – both the nurses have helped my mom take her medicines on a regular basis. We took a subscription to a pharmacy home delivery provider. That solved a lot of problems.
More than anything else, my mother got the comfort she wanted. Recovering from cancer can be a very lonesome task. Most of the people recovering from cancer have to deal with hospital walls every day. My mom got to spend time with two wonderful ladies, who were also professionally trained to take care of her. In our recent most family photos, one of the two nurses is always in the frame – smiling with my mom.
All of her tests are conducted on time. All her medicines are given in time. She is taken for her scans in time. I get the reports and the updates on time. Frequently, when I give her a video call – I can see her smile in relief, and that is the best feeling in the world. I want to leave everything and be by her side and do all of this by myself. But she keeps telling me that her biggest prize is my success. Dad left us when we were very young and since then, mom and I have formed this small family. Now, the two trained nurses are also a part of it.
I don’t know if you can afford to have full-time staff to support your parents’ medical needs. All I will say is, even if I were not in an economic situation to have been able to afford all of this – I still would’ve done all I am doing right now because the smile on her healthy face is worth all of it.