Driven To Care – A Care Aide’s Journey in a COVID-19 World

With the current global situation surrounding COVID-19 still ongoing, there are bound to be new challenges that lie ahead for everyone. However, for one group of people, they face even more pressure and dangers during this unprecedented time, and that is our frontline workers.

Through their dedication, hard work, and effort, most of the world has managed to return to some form of normalcy. There is no doubting that more work has to be done, but it is also clear that we need to support the healthcare industry more, and understand just what these professionals have to go through in such crises.

To give us a better idea of how a caregiver is able to navigate and overcome COVID-19, we are joined by Zarenina Begum Binte Mehmood, a 56-year-old care aide who began her journey four years ago and have been with the Jaga-Me family for the past two years.

Getting Started

“It was more like an accident,” recounted Zarenina about getting a start in the industry. “I began to see my mom’s disabilities and started wondering about what was going on.” It was clear she wanted to provide better care to a loved one, and it wasn’t long before she quit her office job and dove straight into the healthcare industry.

The emotional and physical needs of those facing the challenge of serious illness and disability are taxing at the very least, and it extends to those caring for them as well. As Zarenina cared for her mom with a helper, the latter could not cope with the caregiving that was required. The need for neverending patience and dedication spurred Zarenina on to further her initial steps and develop into her role today.

As a JagaPro, Zarenina focuses mainly on respite care, essentially planned or emergency temporary care provided to caregivers of a child or adult.

Individuals such as those who have had a hip fracture or kneecap surgery fall under this umbrella, as well as bedridden patients such as those who are feeling the effects of stroke or cancer amongst many other kinds of maladies. In addition, our dedicated care aide has also helped out in palliative care, which can help families and loved ones of the patient lighten the load during daily activities.

There is no doubt that this is a tedious job, but Zarenina always has happy memories and stories to share that keep her enthusiasm burning bright.

“There’s a lot, what I like is the stories of when they were young, the history of Singapore, and for those that came from other countries, how they settled down, and all the other interesting parts of their lives,” she recalled with a smile.

“The appreciation and acknowledgement of family members when we offer our help also makes me very content with what I do.”

Adapting to a New Normal

With patients coming in all shapes and sizes, being able to adapt and to reassure those in pain that you are here to help is a critical skill that Zarenina has managed to hone over her career.

It is with this same attitude that she approaches her work in a world now under the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic. While the job remains the same, the conditions have definitely changed to reflect the added caution everyone is encouraged to take.

From family members checking on her travel history to asking if she would like to freshen up before taking care of her patients, it is a brand new world with different challenges. However, her adherence to cleanliness standards and structured scheduling keeps everyone safe. Care aides like Zarenina also undergo regular swab tests to ensure that they are fit to care for others.

Such regulatory practises and the commitment to keeping patients and employees safe are how Jage-Me are able to continue providing their services despite the increasing dangers of the general healthcare landscape.

The uncertainty of the future and the relatively sudden onset of COVID-19 has only made the need for caregiving professionals more apparent. Citing the demands of work and life, as well as the skills required, it is clear that Zarenina feels that her role and many others in the industry are vital cogs in the machine of society.

A Spotlight on the Healthcare Industry

“We are able to help with everyday needs, look after patients’ safety, but also be a companion. When we come in, we are able to keep things safe, facilitate feedback and communications with the family and the patient themselves.”

At the end of the day, the patients come first. For Zarenina, if she is able to help in any way and her patients appreciate her work, that is all she needs to keep persevering in a tough but growing industry.

While not everyone will have the right skills or approaches to caring for others like trained professionals, Zarenina advises anyone who is looking to enter the industry to remember the core value that is integral to being a care aide, and that is to have empathy.

“We must understand the needs of the patients, have lots of patience and good listening skills, and think in the patients’ shoes,” she explained.

Looking at the state of the world and the potential obstacles that lie ahead, sometimes, that is really all we need. And with caregivers like Zarenina and the rest of the JagaPros, we are definitely in a better place for the future.

You Are Not Alone

As we march on towards a future that may present new challenges, everyone should always have help that they can depend on. If you or your loved ones are experiencing difficulties with everyday life, Jaga-Me’s professional and trusted caregivers are always on hand to help.

Be it home nursing, caregiving, medical attention, or even COVID-19 testing, every one of us at Jaga-Me is dedicated to providing quality healthcare to those that need it most in the comforts of their homes. Get in touch with us today, and understand how we can assist to make your lives easier.

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