Like many developed nations in the West, Hong Kong to has a significant aged and elderly population in complete contrast to the vast number of youth professionals populating this industrialist city-state from all around the world. Now the elderly population in any house requires extra care for their livelihood and health. Domestic helpers employed by families for an array of day to day tasks and responsibilities play a significant role in this. What are the essential skills that domestic helpers in Hong Kong must-have for taking care of the elderly in the family? Let us mention here a few of them.
Must be a good listener
The best way to make things easy for elders is to maintain a polite attitude and giving them more attention. Most older adults already feel sad and forlorn to a great extent, and they always think impoverished in people’s attention. Naturally, they can start shouting or expressing anger on petty issues every here and then. This is why it is always advisable to give them a proper hearing whenever they venture to express their opinion or talk about anything. If domestic helpers who are likely to take care of the older people for the most of the day become polite, accommodating, and attentive to them, they can make older adults feel more comfortable and at ease.
Must have skills for arthritic care
Older adults are most likely to suffer from arthritic conditions ranging from muscle pain, weak bones, frequent joint pain, inability to lift the body, sore and painful waist and back, inability to walk, etc. While all these conditions are clinical and require expert physicians’ attention and care, at homes, often, the ones staying nearby are readily depended upon for help. It is needless to say, domestic helpers being around the older adults, are more dependent on crucial situations when other members are not nearby. This is why often families with older adults at home depend on a domestic helper for providing quick arthritic care.
Must have necessary skills for administering drugs and treatment
Older adults often need someone to give them medicines at designated times, maintaining the right order and intervals since they are usually not sound enough to remember the entire course of medicine prescribed by the doctor. In such cases, either the family members or the domestic helpers help them to take medicine timely and at regular intervals. Most households where the capable members remain absent for the most of the day domestic helpers take the responsibility to make aged people take medicine lest they do not skip it. So, a certain level of familiarity with drugs, prescriptions, and typical ways to administer them is expected from the domestic helper. He or she must be able to read the medicine levels and the physician’s prescription.
Must have physiotherapy, messaging and emergency care for heart attack
A vast majority of older adults suffer from their inability to walk or take strong and firm strides. This is why, to help them have some fresh air while making around in the morning or evening, domestic helpers accompany them. So, the domestic helper needs to know about attending older adults suffering from an incapability to move feet frequently. At times older people also feel relieved with a light massage on specific body areas. If your domestic helper has prior experience and skill on this, it can be considered as an additional skill.
Apart from all the above-mentioned skills, if the domestic helper is equipped with skills for emergency care to deal with a heart attack, it can prove to be a life-saving skill. Knowing how to exert pressure on the diseased chest to normalize heart functioning is a kind of critical physical ability an older adult can ultimately experience as life-saving for him.
Must have conversational skills
When growing older adults are likely to become more sentimental, sometimes stubborn, sometimes hectic, and, at times, very angry. Seniors also show some behavioral elements common with kids. They respond more to storytelling than so-called logical explanations. At such times, explaining things with a mind bent on storytelling can prove to be more productive. How one infuse humor, fun, little stories, and poetic understanding of life and surroundings within a conversation is essential to appease older adults and ensure their happiness. If you are looking for maidservants or domestic helpers for your elderly parents or grannies, make sure the person has a pleasant personality and engaging conversational ability.
Must be able to calculate and keep things arranged
This is quite funny that older people often look more calculative and parsimonious than their younger counterparts in the family. But while they always tend to spend a hell lot of energy in speculating about the market and their savings, when it comes to calculations, they mostly depend upon their near and dear ones. In the absence of other members of the family, they tell the domestic helper to lend her hand for counting money in a locker. Besides counting, domestic help also needs to keep all the things arranged so that anything can be accessed from the room whenever required. It is always good to find a helper who is tidy in her own life so that he doesn’t need to learn it.
“Can you fix an old tape recorder?”
This is certainly not a skill you can demand from any domestic helper, but if one is capable of fixing specific gadgets and devices at home, it can be an additional skill of importance, no doubt. How many times your grandpa complained about the old tape recorder sounding hoarse? Well, there can be nothing better if your domestic helper can fix it at home. But obviously, that’s something you cannot expect from everyone coming on your way.
Those domestic helpers are ideal for taking care of older adults at home who have older adults at home and who already have had the experience by dealing with their old folks at home.
Edouard Muller is a French entrepreneur working in the Hive Sai Kung. He is the founder of HelperPlace – a leading platform to find the right domestic helper in Hong Kong.