Within the walls of this special place, I have found comfort and solace and a home away from home that has embraced me with open arms. It's a place that has become integral to my life's journey. In this blog, I have shared my thoughts and experiences about my journey with Epoch Elder Care, wherein I am currently the facility manager of Epoch Elder Care - Vermeer House, Gurugram. I have completed three splendid years at Epoch, and when I joined, I had limited knowledge about dementia, Parkinson's, and assisted living. Previously, I had heard about NGOs and elder care facilities so my initial thoughts were that it would be similar to working in an old age home, but I was nowhere close to the reality.

Prior to working with Epoch, I worked as a cardiac nurse in various multi-specialty hospitals based out of Delhi, where I dealt with patients in critical care units, Cathlab procedures, and emergency situations. It was a highly demanding job with long hours and a busy schedule. However, I often questioned the purpose of my work and the meaning of my life. I didn't find answers to these questions throughout my experience while working with the hospitals.

I often felt a strong desire to do more for others. Although I became a nurse, I wanted to explore more possibilities of caring for others so I searched for other job opportunities and eventually came across Epoch Elder Care. Initially, I thought it would be similar to the other assisted living homes. However, on my first day, I realized that I had a lot to learn about dementia care besides assisted living care as we focus on the person as much as their medical conditions. I am grateful to my team that supported me during the initial months and made my learning easier and now Epoch feels like my second home.

The daily interactions with the elders, their smiles, and their happiness have become the highlight of my day. Being present in their lives brings me a profound sense of purpose and fulfillment. The elders often seek my advice and confide in me, sharing their thoughts and dreams. I feel honored to be there for them, to lend an empathetic ear and to offer all kinds of support with the help of the care staff members. In these precious exchanges, I realize the depth of the relationships we have built, and I am reminded of the profound trust they place in me.

I start my day by spending some quality time with elderly residents living with dementia and Parkinson’s. One of the ways to connect with them is by holding their hand for a few good minutes, fostering a sense of comfort and companionship. By doing this I aim to create a sense of comfort and security, reducing stress and aggressive behaviors in them. Also, I assist them in taking a walk outdoors and indoor and helping them walk by providing support makes them feel secure, valued and cared for. These ways of communicating are considered effective when it is harder to communicate through words. Taking care of fall management is a crucial aspect of clinical care, especially for the elderly living with dementia and Parkinson’s.

Managing dementia is a significant challenge, and it requires special care and understanding. Sometimes, words may not reach them, but a genuine smile can make a difference. Smile is one the most effective language they truly understand and by smiling while seeing them can bring a positive impact in their daily lives.

I always prioritize the happiness of our elderly residents. If I sense sadness in their eyes due to any reason, I don't ask why they are sad. Instead, I focus on responding in a way that brings them happiness, and residents reciprocate by giving me their warm smiles.

I don't consider myself merely a facility manager of Epoch Vermeer House, I see it as my second home, and I am taking care of my family members, residents of Epoch. The concept of a second home is truly wonderful because I no more feel a daily longing for my family. I celebrate every festival with the residents, blending the cultural and festive traditions of both North and South India. Whether it's Onam, a significant festival in Kerala, or any other festival, I create a sense of belonging for our elderly residents. We prepare Onam Sadya, engage in Onam dance, dress up in traditional attire, and adorn Onam Gajra together with all the residents. I find joy in celebrating festivals with my elderly residents who are now no less than my own family members and they also equally enjoy festivities and celebrations along with me and the care staff members at Epoch.

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