One of the issues raised in most families is who will take good care of their parents when they get old. Nursing homes in the Philippines is not popular due to the cultural value of close-family-ties. Elders usually stay at home and taken good care by their children. There are exceptional cases wherein children are too busy with their work and they cannot attend with their parents needs. In this scenario, their children just hire some caretakers, usually one of their relatives, to feed them, dress them, and take good care of them while they are not present. It is just like parents hiring nannies for their little one. Caring elders is just like caring babies. They have to be nourished emotionally, physically and spiritually.
Emotional nourishment. They need attention, patience, someone who will listen to their old stories, affection and understanding. They need to feel that inspite of their old physical appearance they are still loved. They want to feel that their children still need them inspite of being helpless. They still need communication inspite of their weak hearing. They need to be understood whenever they have those poor memory, repetitive stories, sensitivities on almost things and tantrums. They need to be guided to live their life normally just like they used to.
Physical Nourishment. Since their bodies became fragile, due care is necessary. They have to be maintained clean and fresh. Their dry skin should be kept moisturized. For the bed-ridden elders, their lying position should be change every hour to prevent them from having bed sores. Nutritious food should be given to them. Since their body could not absorb nutrient that much, food supplements and nutritional milk should be feed to them to have strong resistance against sickness. We must encourage them to still do simple exercises to have strong body and proper blood circulation.
Spiritual Nourishment. Reading the bible with them or other spiritual articles will build their faith in God and lessen their fear of being old. It will help them grow more with God inspite of getting old. Going to church with them is also a way of bonding with them and a way of letting them feel valued.
Caring elders is not a responsibility. It is a privilege to bring back the care and love they had given us-it is an act of gratitude. They once gave us the attention, patience, and time in order for us to reach what we are now. Now is the time to return the love and let them live their remaining life to the fullest.