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'Attending' Problems

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by Agatha83, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. Agatha83

    Agatha83 IL Hall of Fame

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    'Attending' Problems

    Biting my nails feverishly , I was watching the blind Audrey Hepburn smashing the lights of her house one by one with the stick, the treacherous villain with his devilish smile following her, ready to kill her - a chilling climax highlighted under the diffused light of the open fridge,

    The movie- 'Wait until the dark', its haunting climax, one which I couldn't wait for, came to an abrupt end amidst one booming sound pulling me out of my trance. With my pulse racing, I started looking around for the source of that terrific sound. I had one long look at my monitor to check out whether it was the one which broke down unable to withstand the suspense of the movie. It was fine and leaving Audrey to fight her own battles with the villain I moved out of the room in search of the origin of The boom.

    Crackers? I looked out of the window facing the road. It was as quiet as a Pacific Ocean. No, certainly it was not Diwali and with six months for the day of fire works away, I ruled out the possibility of crackers. Moving to the drawing room, I found both my mom and her Attender seriously watching a Tamil serial with earshattering sounds of the background score which was dominated by drums, masking all the noise around, which left me wondering if they could have heard the ear splitting explosion. On the screen the Saas and bahu were throwing missiles, vessels and hurling accusations at each other.

    So immersed were my mom and her Attender in that silly serial that they neither of them heard the blasting noise nor noticed my presence.

    Then when I entered the kitchen I was shocked for life, looking at the the scenario which resembled a pitched battle field. .The prestigious pressure Cooker was twisted beyond recognition, thrown to the corner, looking like an unattended accident victim. The dal and rice were sticking up to the ceiling for dear life, some sprayed along the walls giving them a designer finish and some on the floor with the result I had to do a moon walk on the floor. When I realized the enormity of the situation which I knew was due to the utter carelessness of the Attender whose responsibility was to make rice for the patient, and often had serious memory lapses when it came to watching serials, I took quick decisions. I quietly cleaned up the entire mess and cooked rice using another spare cooker. Not a word of advice or giving my piece of mind to the Attender for I knew that, the very moment I opened my mouth, pointing out to her mistakes, she would walk out of the house as well as work with her bag and baggage once for all.

    Most of the patient attenders who waited upon my mom in two shifts were mostly teenagers,withering away their precious time talking on mobiles, watching movies, serials on tv, making intimate conversations with their BFs or listen to those raunchy songs that The FM spewed out liberally. My mom who was one a stickler for discipline, had to put up with the attenders tantrums, since she was in constant need of their help.

    Inspite of my non stop suggestions to have earphones to listen to their favorite songs without disturbing the patient, they went on to play those bawdy numbers much to my annoyance. Many times, hearing my moms cries I would rush in to help her, with these attenders snoozing off to the sexy lullabies dished out by their mobiles.

    Want to have a feel of Mahabharatha war. No need to read the epics or even switch on the idiot box. You are welcome to my house to watch all the drama, fights, Gaalis, tears included free of charge- courtesy my attenders. There was not a single issue that was agreed by attenders working on two different shifts. Whenever they met at the time of relieving the other, instead of handing over the details about the patient or the medicines, they would engage in a serious war of words, non stop, inspite of my serious mediation and pleas to stop it. Sometimes such innocuous fights ended up in fisticuffs and the agency had to be called in and were asked to call them back.

    Some of them were serious contenders for the World beauty comtest, with most of their time spent in front of mirrors, trying different kinds of make up, hairstyles,lipsticks, and nail polish. My knowledge of makeup restricted till then to Ponds powder, grew up by leaps and bounds, thanks to my make up friendly attenders. Some of them would entertain my mom by dancing to gross numbers, pelvic gyrations included, with a fond hope of making it out to the reality dance shows and then to the small screen.

    Whenever I made a request to send middle aged patient attenders, the agency sent oldies who were themselves burdened with all sorts of ailments and often came for work loaded with strong smelling pain balms ranging from Amrutanjan to Tiger. The additional burden of supplying them with hot water, tea, coffee , crocin etc fell upon me and when it came to work I found them hardly fit enough to pull my mom up on the water bed or even change the soiled sheets.

    With slippery mosaic floors, stagnant water on the tiled bathroom was a serious issue and had to be mopped up frequently. But due to the careless attitude of the attenders who always kept the bathroom wet , my mom suffered repeated fractures and months of hospitalization . Inspite of my constant reminders to close the taps properly, one careless Attender who failed to close the tap of the bubble top properly, led to my fall one morning, when I stepped on to the pool of water that was stagnating at the entrance of the drawing room. Thank God, I escaped with minor injuries, and since that day I always made sure that all the taps were closed properly before retiring for the day.

    With frequent fights between the attenders and the maid servant I had to stop the services of my maid servant, since I knew I couldn't do much without the help of these manipulating attenders. Now I have learnt to take things in my stride.Balancing tension and stress which have become part of my life, I have learnt to chase away my 'Attender' Blues by holding little props like broom and mop and dancing with rhythmic steps to a salsa, foxtrot or Zumba, searching for the elusive drop of water on the floor
    .ooooh la la ! ooooh lalalalala!!
     
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  2. satchitananda

    satchitananda Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    My heartfelt sympathies, Agatha, at your having to deal with these attendants. It certainly can't be easy. It was due to these very issues that prevented me from looking after mom at home during her last days - something that still kills me, but when I read of such stuff, I know it could not have been otherwise.
     
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  3. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Agatha,

    It is very painful to hear what you had to go through to keep your mom's medical attendants. I see these wonderful ads for a company in Facebook and other places talking about how well they look after the needs of the patients. But the experiences of people like you appear to be different.

    I have my mother who is at present 85 years old. She has an attendant who finishes her work in less than 30 minutes on arrival and spends most of the time either on her mobile phone, collecting ration for her home, sleeping, etc. In order to keep her motivated I was sending her money from here in addition to what the agency was paying as she had a young daughter going to college. Frankly, none of that worked. However, my mother is okay with her as anyone else who comes as an alternative to her are unmanageable.

    Living in the US, I can't personally attend to her. My brother who retired 5 years ago moved into my parent's property made luxurious modification to the house to make himself and his wife comfortable at home but my mother's room still looks so depleted. The air-conditioner I bought for her is still in the upper floor when she was moved to the ground floor. I bought her a hospital bed, wheel chair and other facilities and other than the bed, nothing else is put to use. I arranged a physiotherapist to make her arms and legs feel more active. I paid 6 months advance payment to this physiotherapist. Within 15 days, my brother and sister-in-law stopped him. She has not been visited by a physician for the past 5 years.

    My brother still works and is comfortably occupying my parent's place. My SIL not even talk to my mother for years. My mother gets handsome monthly pension, bulk payment deposited in the bank as retirement benefit for the services rendered by my father besides deposits left behind and currently managed by my brother. My mother stays alone all night despite all these income she gets.

    I got very angry in 2011 and had a big fight with my brother and told him that he was treating mother very badly. He told me, "this is the best I can do and if you like to look after her better, please take her wherever you want". He said that in front of my mother. I told my mom, "I will look after you for the rest of your life. I will provide you 3 attendants round the clock and call you twice every day. If required, I will ask my wife and mother-in-law to move to Chennai to look after you while I reside in the US to support my son, all paid by me leaving all her wealth in tact". She replied, "I can't move away from my elder son (we are just two brothers)". Perhaps, she was scared if she took that drastic action, he might not attend and perform her rites if something were to happen to her. I didn't say anything to her but I was very upset with her sentiments.

    Because of this situation, I have been told not to interfere with anything that happens in Chennai. My brother refuses if I arrange anything for my mother nor he accepts any money from me. He is also not looking after her very well using the funds available in her name. I am allowed only to visit her whenever I go to India. I know my mother is hurting but she stands solidly behind my brother. I feel very helpless. No one other than my brother visits her room even though everyone in my brother's family lives under the same roof. My mother is born with so many brothers and sisters and even they are afraid of visiting the house. My mother is even afraid of calling them and if she accidentally complains about her health, my brother gives her mouthful. Even I can talk to her only at certain times and her mobile phone is switched off most of the time. Most of her brothers and sisters are complaining about her mobile phone being switched off most of the time.

    Some suggested that I should report the matter to the cops and release my mother from the clutches of my brother. But If I do such drastic actions, it would pain my mother more than her present health condition. I have no option but to pray for her welfare everyday.

    My apologies for burdening you with issues faced by me. I am very glad you are looking after your mother very well with great attitude despite all that happens around you and let the Lord shower you with a lot of grace.

    Viswa
     
  4. jayasala42

    jayasala42 Finest Post Winner

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    Dear Agatha,
    The snippet written by you and the response from Viswa are true pictures of what is really happening in Chennai in almost all the houses.The attendants charge Rs500 per day and enjoy at our home.You can't open your mouth for fear of being left without attendant for a few days.
    My brother-in-law was more than 92 and they engaged a maid.Silently she noticed where my akka would keep her diamond ear rings and mookkuthis while taking oil bath.They were kept in a small box and placed inside the toor dhal dubba unseen by anybody.One Friday after lunch was over, my akka wanted to wear the studs and nose rings.To her dismay, only the dubba was there and not the contents.With cell phone in hand she called her husband and gave away the jewels while my sister was still taking bath.The attender lady made a sathyam by putting out a karppora flame to prove her innocence.My sister's son didn't want to inform police.The jewels were lost for ever.On many days the patient was lying with excretions getting dried on his back with nobody to attend to.
    That is why Anaayaasa maranam is the wish of everyone but only a handful are blessed with .With so much of medical advancement the longevity has increased but the ultimate sufferings have to be gone through.

    When such is the case in our own homes with someone to supervise, we can imagine the position of senior citizen patients left at the care of old age homes.Even the costliest homes who guarantee 24 hrs attendance by nurses/attendants are simply stinking.The attenders clean the patients only twice at 8A, M and 8 P. M.Intermediary urine/bowel excretions are left uncleaned.What a pity!

    Reg pressure cooker now a days more incidents happen.Of course that is safety measure to release the excess pressure built.This Shivarathri day I had no cooking business and was greatly relieved.But the green dhal kept in the cooker for neivedyam became the culprit.The pressure was released the weight and the lid reached the ceiling making wonderful paintings. The entire kitchen, cooking platform were smeared with uncooked dal, making the worst possible mess.It took nearly an hour to bring back to normalcy.Fortunately I was just away ;Otherwise I would have had burnt injuries on my face.
    We live with problems and get consolation by sharing our experience with the forum members.

    Jayasala 42
     
  5. vaidehi71

    vaidehi71 IL Hall of Fame

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    Agatha,

    I firstly, appreciate the care you are taking for your mother. It is such pity that the attenders are not doing their job properly inspite of being under your supervision. Moreover you have rightly pointed out that the attenders just want to relax and earn. Such is the state of affairs that there is no perfect attendant available nowadays.

    I wonder about how there is going to be any solution for these, especially as many people move overseas nowadays and has become impracticable to bring parents overseas. It is a concern for myself, when I am thinking of my aged parents.

    Viswa Sir's sorrowful situation is depressing to read. Loneliness is a disease by itself.

    Even own sons/ daughters are being rude, hurtful, resent and abuse their parents when they are in need of their attention. Where has all the humanity gone? I became aware of a situation where the daughter who was looking after her mother ( dementic and bed ridden) with the help of a servant maid for daily chores, but was bad mouthing her mother day in and out. Finance was provided by the son who was overseas, but the DIL was in a different city and did not want to look after her MIL. But within few years the mother became bed ridden and was reduced to a mere skeleton, with her own daughter cursing her mother with what not words. Her kids have grown up economically and gone overseas much to her happiness and she lost all her compassion as she wanted to go overseas to help her sons and felt her mother as a hindrance. Finally the old lady succumbed and now they are relieved and so too the soul of that mother. All these words even if dementic ( not sure how much the mother understood) is hurtful and uttered with her father around as well. Poor father who is at the moment being independent had felt that he should never have to become bed ridden, otherwise had to endure the same ill treatment. But that is beyond our control and with the attendent problems and poor old age home maintenance, there is less hope seen for aging parents and their ensuing problems.

    Thanks for the thought provoking thread.
    Vaidehi
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2016
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  6. Agatha83

    Agatha83 IL Hall of Fame

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  7. Agatha83

    Agatha83 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear satchi,

    Coming back to IL is so refreshing and meeting virtual friends just after 3 days looks like 3 years have passed on in between. In Chennai there is hardly any facility worth the name, for looking after the bedridden and even those who are willing to take care, the conditions are pathetic and unhygienic. I underwent frequent bouts of depression and had to undergo counseling. This is sad reality about which no one can do anything.

    Agatha83
     
  8. Agatha83

    Agatha83 IL Hall of Fame

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  9. Agatha83

    Agatha83 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Viswa,

    I felt sad for the sorry state of affairs prevailing at your end and I realize how much mental trauma you have to undergo daily thinking about your inability to help your ailing mother. Inspite of all the ill treatment meted out by your brother, may be your mother feels safe under their presence and it is this sense of security which prevents her from moving out. Going to the police hardly matters or even human rights organizations, because any outside interference only complicates the matters. Pray to God to put an end to all her sufferings?

    Agatha83
     
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  10. umaakumar

    umaakumar Gold IL'ite

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    Dear Agatha,

    I feel sorry for your mother and the situation you are in.

    It is very pathetic for old people. MY dad who is 84 stays with me. If he gets even a cold i dread it as I dont want him to be in bed. It is so difficult to get servants and a nurse to take care of them and we ourselves do not have the strength to take care of them.

    I hear of so many nasty things that these maids do to the old people. I hear some of them even beat the old ones in their care.

    Talking about homes is another part, even if they are well taken care of, our hearts would not permit us to leave them there.

    Regards
    Uma
     
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