Remote caregiving: an arrangement, and issues faced

David D’Souza lives in Bangalore. His mother suffered from Alzheimer’s Disease. Off and on for ten years, till she passed away, David and his siblings coordinated to provide care for his mother, who lived in a different city (where none of the siblings lived). Below, he shares the arrangement they used for taking care of his mother, and the problems faced. [note]

Please describe the arrangement for your mother’s caregiving.

There were two women hired to attend to my mother round the clock: Cooking, washing, bathing, washing clothes, cutting hair, cutting nails, dressing, accompanying her to Church during the first 5 of 10 years. Later my mother could not walk to Church so the attendants would walk with her in the compound of the house daily for about an hour.

When my mother became bed-ridden they continued the above and now added physiotherapy sessions every evening!

What were the key issues and problems that you faced?

In the first five years it was how to keep the attendants motivated. They seemed to be bent on extracting as much money as they could for their services. Later their dedication to my Mother was unquestionable.

Another issue was arranging replacements when these two had to go on leave.

Yet another issue was that the family members and friends of the attendants also landed up at my mother’s house to visit their relatives.

…we ignored the issues of honesty of the attendants because they took proper care of our mother

The two attendants had the full run of the house, and at the end of ten years very few of the belongings, clothes, utensils and house decorations remained. But as my brothers, myself, and our families were all spread out in different cities, we ignored the issues of honesty of the attendants because they took proper care of our mother. It was an extremely small price to pay for the quality and dedication they showed to my mother.

Thank you for sharing, David!

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Note: This is a personal interview. The situation and experiences described are specific to the interviewee, and the interview is not intended to be seen as a general representation of persons with dementia, their families, the care environment, or professionals. Every patient, every family is different and so is their experience.