In the geriatric and elderly community, providing health care services have become more complex and technical.

With changing environmental needs, socio-economic development, sociological advancements, etc. new challenges have emerged in the healthcare sector, in particular within the elderly care-giving sector. If not effectively managed, it could lead to poor service delivery and management of elderly care, thus resulting in dissatisfaction amongst stakeholders such as the elderly patient community, children of the elderly, and others.

Although important, care-giving is not only about providing high-end facilities that cater for good, healthy and hygienic conditions. Equally important is the attitude/character, traits, skills sets and knowledge of the front-liners, such as caregivers, supervisors, managers, etc, who manage the services. This overall make-up is crucial for the elderly community as well as continued success of the service providers/operators.

Passionate human touch and human engagement with our elders are important. Coupled with the caregivers’ skill sets & knowledge, we can create a happy and harmonious environment for the elderly patients. The children would also experience a sense of relief and comfort given that their elderly parent(s) are in good and capable hands. We want to ensure that our elderly are happy in the later stages of their lives.

As an accomplished healthcare practitioner, I must emphasize the importance of human values and the passion that one needs to possess when working in the sector. We have a cardinal rule i.e. to serve our elderly with love and compassion.

How do we achieve this?

First, we must ensure that our front-liners, in particular the caregivers, possess the right attitude and passion, and coupled with this, the required knowledge and experience. Caregivers, supervisors and managers should also possess the required skills to manage/operate independently and with confidence.
They must possess the ability to undertake all agreed/given functions efficiently and must be able to address minor issues, should they arise.

Caregivers and staff shall be trained using the ‘Balanced Care’ methodology. What this means is the training programme captures some lifestyle elements that can result in extended life/longevity and improved quality of life for the elderly patients. The training modules must incorporate elements of best practices to ensure that the programme can be adopted locally and is internationally recognized.

In a nutshell, the healthcare industry is well regulated and it is time that efforts are put in place for elderly care homes to be part of this system to ensure that our elderly patients are well cared for and looked after, as how you would care and look after your own parents.

We in healthcare services must strive to serve the community of elders with upmost love and passion. Let us all work towards a healthier and harmonious elderly society.