This is not a glamorous topic to write on. Life, however, has its realities, and
the harsh facts of life are that we cannot avoid sickness and death. Someone in
the house must care for a sick person in the home. Mothers usually end up
shouldering the burden of sick members in the family. Of course, their care
usually extends to their sick children, usually the young ones. It is a fact
that young children become sick more often, as they are more prone to infections
and have lower immunity.
More often than not, when children are not well, they
are suffering from the common cold or fever. The younger they are, the more
important it is for the mother or caregiver to notice the symptoms. This is
especially so for high fevers which could damage the child's brain or be
life-threatening. Mothers are also the ones who have to bring the sick children
to the doctor and follow up with whatever treatment prescribed. They also have
to coax the young ones to take the prescribed medicine at the right times and
watch out for their diet or rest.
A sick person is usually not in the best of moods. At worse, he can be
downright irritable. Hence, caregivers have to be
tactful and tolerant. It is at these times that the sick person at
home really appreciates the tender love and compassion of their caregivers. Who
among us cannot but remember our mother tucking us into bed when we were sick or
our mother feeding us a bowl of hot porridge? It was also our mother who ensured
that we drank plenty of water as the doctor instructed or avoid oily or fried
food when we had sore throats. Psychologists have discovered that patients who
had tender loving care recovered faster than those without.
As children grow to become teenagers, they fall sick less often. However, be
it bruises, sprains or headaches, care given in the form of ointments or pills
is much appreciated. When someone in the family has a serious illness, the
burden of caring becomes heavier and usually falls on more shoulders. Older
people are prone to more serious illnesses. When it comes to caring for the old,
the burden of caring for them is much heavier. Some may have difficulty walking
about or are incontinent.
A child or adult with a serious disease like cancer needs all the help
available. Visits to the doctor for follow-up treatments like chemotherapy or
radiation sessions must be arranged. Emotional support at home is also
important. A member in a family who has kidney failure places a burden on his
family members. Everyone should chip in to help out in this sad situation. For
old people or young children, it is important they be monitored and reminded to
take their medicine as old people may be senile
and the young immature or irresponsible.
The task of caring becomes even heavier when a person is handicapped. For an
old person, a fall may be life-threatening. A young child who is handicapped
needs encouragement and may be easily depressed or weak-willed. For those with
life-threatening diseases like AIDS or cancer, the task of caring becomes even
more important. Sometimes, the care given is more psychological than physical. A
tender look, sympathetic advice or human touch is as important as the medicine
Disease sufferers who faced bleak medical futures may even attempt suicide,
so caregivers have to be vigilant. If a person is in great pain, caregivers
would have to be on standby to render help. Mentally unstable patients need to
be watched constantly as they may be a danger to themselves or their families.
Caring for sick people at home is no easy task. These tasks have to be taken
by people who care for them at home. When the tasks of caring become onerous and
family members cannot cope, they may be farmed out to hired nurses. However,
care from loved ones is always the most appreciated.