Walking into the lounge of Stripes Home and Leisure Place for Geriatrics, Egbeda, a Lagos suburb, The Nationsaw gaily dressed senior citizens both males and females – engaged in various games – ludo, ayo, weaving and knitting while others were chatting.
The spacious airy lounge was well- decorated, with indigenous decors, with a touch of modern home decor like throw pillows, slipcovers, wall art and throw blankets.
Explaining the rationale behind the setting up the centre, Mrs Foluke Akinbi, a retired matron of Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), Ikeja, said it was her passion for nursing as a care-giving profession inspired her.
Mrs Akinbi while conducting The Nation around the rooms gave another reason why she built the centre. She said: “A retiree like me still have more zeal and energy to dispense, and I wanted to go into something exciting, and beneficial to the society. So, when the inspiration came in 2016, I just accepted same, and pursued it, and today, I am happy because these old people pray for me, and their children and relatives that bring them are happy, fulfilled and satisfied that they are doing the right thing for their parents. Many older people are healthy and active, but their children are building careers and do not have the quality time again for these parents.”
Mrs Akinbi said the need to provide ad-hoc, short- or long-term day care for the elderly was another reason why she set up the centre.
She said, for instance, resistance to elderly care by a senior citizen could be triggered by some factors.
“Firstly, you have to remember that if your loved one is in need of elderly care, then they are at a stage of their lives when they have to cope with their own challenges – for example physical loss, mental loss, or loss of independence. This can be difficult for them to accept, and they could also be facing the challenge that they might think it is a sign of weakness to accept elderly care. They may feel angry at having to accept elderly care, guilty or confused as they might not understand they need help. Some feel guilty that they are ‘troubling’ their children with unnecessary spending.
“When providing elderly care, there are a number of considerations you have to bear in mind. As we get older we are increasing the likelihood of getting ill, and less tolerant leaving us susceptible to stress.This means that elderly care needs to plan for the possibility of illness from environmental toxins, infections, accidents, and stress.
“Stripe Care is committed to providing tailored care in accordance to best practice. We always ensure that all our clients stay in an environment that is comfortable, safe and clean with the greatest dignity, support and respect possible awarded to them by appropriately qualified and trained staff. We value the client’s physical, social, spiritual and psychological well-being and I always strive to become familiar with, retain, share and enjoy the individual personhood.
“I have a geriatric physician that comes in to check their Bp, and conduct the basic routine checks. We also ensure those with arthritis, or dental, eye challenges get specialists attend to them. We ensure we give them foods that are devoid of injurious recipes for their age. And the dietician in the house ensures locally sourced ingredients are used in food preparation. As many that have clinically advised diets, are also accorded the diets,” explained Mrs Akinbi.
Mrs Akinbi explained that she converted her home into the centre when she realised that many workers found it hard to cater for their old parents. “Some are left with teenagers who had no knowledge of geriatric care. Some are left to watch home videos, others are depressed and even wished for death. But, with me here, the stories have changed for a lot of them. And in return, I am happy too.”
On services rendered at the centre, Mrs Akinbi said: “Leisure Club, short-term stay; long-term stay; Dementia and Alzheimer’s care are part of the services we rendered here. Older people have often lost touch with friends and families and find themselves isolated and lonely. Stripes Care can help people to build up their confidence again by providing a listening ear and encouraging the person to get out and about to rediscover old interests or find new friends.
“Short-term stay does not only provide an opportunity for the person staying with us to receive specialist support in a warm, safe and friendly environment, but can also enjoy a well-earned rest. Short term stay can be particularly useful when unexpected events occur, such as after a hospital stay, or bereavement of an aged-spouse.
“Stripes Care offers quality care for older people that promote independence alongside professional standards of healthcare, hygiene, nutrition and security. Each resident has an individual care plan. These detail the residents needs, likes and dislikes. Stripes Care has specialists in dementia care and recognise a person with dementia is, first and foremost, a person – unique and with a rich history of experiences, abilities, skills, knowledge, preferences, desires and personality. And all these are at an affordable charge.
“We do not stop at that, as we have a 24-hour Helpline, with friendly customer service staff for all questions. We are open for discussions.’’
Source: The Nation