Recently, my mother, who is 75 years old, and lives nearby, developed herpes zoster. She is the primary caregiver to my father, who is 80 and has otherwise remained relatively healthy and active.
As I call her, Amma is one of those who believe in following a strict routine at all times. She is used to getting up at a specific time, doing chores in a particular order, watching or hearing specific shows and regular conversations with relatives in a schedule.
Covid anyways has restricted their outside access, to which they had adjusted. But herpes is excruciatingly painful. Though I helped her with the medical part of prescribing and obtaining the right medicines and advice to get better and relieve pain, manage supplies, and arranging additional maids to support them, I thought something more was needed.
I altered my morning routine and spent a couple of hours from 6.00 am onwards, her waking time, and did her routine chores the way she wants them done. And cooked their breakfast and lunch. It would have been easier for me to carry or send cooked items from my home. Still, this way, I got to spend time, and she got the satisfaction of meeting her specifications.
With God’s grace, she got better in two weeks, and became pain-free and resume her favourite routine.
I, on the other hand, learnt and built my experience in senior citizen care.
Compassion for senior citizens has to be tailored to their needs.