Lina’s Caregiving Journey: Caring for a Loved One with Dementia

by Tan Jia Hui

The changes started mildly enough.

When Mdm Fatimah started asking her daughter, Lina, repeated questions, she just thought her mom was a little forgetful. Over time, however, she realised that Mdm Fatimah would ask her the same question in the span of minutes. This made it increasingly difficult to brush off her worries and attribute it to a simple lapse of memory. That was when Lina realised that her Mum has dementia.

Wearing Multiple Hats

As a mother of two, having to juggle between her job and caring for her children was already tough enough as it is. The added role of being a caregiver to her mom with dementia can be overwhelming. 

Upon the diagnosis, the natural course of action for Lina was to convince her mom to move in with her so that she is able to care for both her mom and her children at the same time. However, Mdm Fatimah resisted the idea. 

People with dementia such as Mdm Fatimah tend to be more comfortable when they follow a familiar routine and therefore would prefer to age in an environment familiar to her. Furthermore, she also made it clear to Lina that she wanted to live independently.

As her primary caregiver, Lina comes by Mdm Fatimah’s place several days a week to visit, and calls in at least twice a day to ensure she takes her meals on time. She has also installed a camera which she checks hourly to ensure her Mom is safe at home. 

Despite all these measures, Lina knew that with her various commitments, she needed to get support with caring for her mother to avoid burnout.

Getting the Best Care for Her Mum

We always want to ensure our loved ones get the best care possible. Lina considered various caregiving options, one of which was getting a foreign domestic helper to care for her Mum. However, as the doctor mentioned that her mother has an aggressive form of dementia, she was afraid that the helper may not be well-equipped to handle difficult situations when they arise. 

A nursing home was also out of the question, as her mother had insisted on ageing in the comfort of her own home. Lina went down to one of the nursing homes and also thought it was not ideal for her Mom because the activities and environment were not tailored for dementia care. 

Deciding to Engage Homage to Care for Her Mum

That was when she chanced upon Homage. Having a trained and experienced caregiver to care for her Mum at home was ideal for Lina.

Care Pro Nora comes by Mdm Fatimah’s place several times a week to provide companionship and prepare meals for her. Experienced in caring for people with dementia, Nora patiently replies to all of Mdm Fatimah’s questions and calmly handles situations as they arise. Even when she misplaced her keys, Nora is understanding and contacts daughter Lina for the spare keys while maintaining a conversation with Mdm Fatimah from outside her home to keep her calm and occupied.

With someone by her side to keep her company and even cooks her favourite dishes for her, Mdm Fatimah’s mood is often lifted when Nora comes by. As her regular caregiver, Nora and Mdm Fatimah have developed a bond much more like friends than between regular caregivers and care recipients.

Caring for a Senior with Dementia

Having Nora around and knowing that she cares for her Mum as she would for her own parents gives Lina peace of mind while she is busy with other commitments.

Caring for a loved one with dementia has its ups and downs, but the right support can go a long way.

Should you know someone who needs support caring for a loved one with dementia, we can help. Reach out to us at 6100 0055.

About the Writer
Tan Jia Hui
Jia Hui is a content marketer who loves helping others and hopes to make this world a kinder place in any way she can. In her pockets of free time, you can find her snacking on ice cream and fries with her 80-year-young Grandma at home.
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