After Jasmina completed her university education, she became a stay-at-home mother. Spending all her time at home, she felt like she was sitting idle without a purpose, especially since she was qualified to take up more work. She was dissatisfied with her current state and decided that she would venture out to work. This is when she was introduced to A1Snehanjali assisted living elder care home, a project of Silver Innings and the work they do for elders and dementia. And the credit also goes to her husband, who encouraged her to take up some work, then being idle at home.
Prior to her introduction to A1 Snehanjali, she didn’t know what Alzheimer’s disease was. However, when she visited the centre and spoke to the staff, she learnt more about the disease itself as well as the role of a caregiver in the dementia person lives. As she began coming to the job, she felt a homely feeling, an affection and closeness, which was missing in her life. The person with dementia seemed like her old parents and grandparents, and she found happiness in serving them. The missing piece in her life had been filled by her job.
Jasmina has now completed two years as a Center In charge and caregiver at A1Snehanjali. Serving the person with dementia (called as Residents) over the years, she has come to realise the value of her own parents and elders, and how fragile those relationships are. She has also found her co-staff and management to be helpful and supportive of each other, creating a healthy work environment. This is why she considers the person with dementia (residents) and staff to be her second family. But, it is also due to this attachment that when a any residents passes away, it really affects her a lot. When you serve someone every single day and one day they are no longer there, it creates a void and the absence is felt. While this hurts Jasmine a lot, she knows that this is a part and parcel of her work as a caregiver, and so, she continues to work in order to better the life of the residents.
Jasmina’s family members are very proud of Jasmina and the work she does. Her children and mother-in-law are extremely supportive of her job, and it is due to this that she is able to contribute time at her job and at home. Every morning, Jasmina wakes up, sends her children to school and comes to the centre. At the centre, she spends time with the residents, person with dementia - talking to them, facilitating prayer time, doing meaningful activities with them like singing, playing, drawing and watching TV. While she is at the centre, her mother-in-law looks after the home, which provides Jasmina support as she is freely able to go to work without worrying about the house. When Jasmina returns from work, she spends time with her children and finishes up the housework.
Having worked as a caregiver for last two years, Jasmina only has one thing to say - “Understand the value of your parents and grandparents. Respect them and care for them. Teach your children the same because if you don’t, one day you will be in the place of your parents and you won’t have anyone there for you.”
- By Vansh Tibrewal
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