Spring Festival for “post-00” elderly care workers: “The elderly are also my family members”

Spring Festival for “post-00” elderly care workers: “The elderly are also my family members”


February 12th, the third day of the Lunar New Year. In a senior care service center in Pidu District, Chengdu, 24-year-old senior care worker Chen Yan got up early in the morning to wash the faces and clean the rooms of several elderly people. This is the first time in three years of work that Chen Yan cannot go home for the New Year. “After spending time with the elderly here, I have developed feelings for them and treat them as family,” she said with a smile.

During the Spring Festival holiday, Chen Yan wiped the face of the elderly.Photo by Lu Yang

There are more than 80 elderly people in the elderly care service center where Chen Yan works. The average age is over 85 years old, and most of them have Alzheimer’s disease. As the youngest caregiver here, Chen Yan chose a career that most young people would not pursue.

“Actually, I was brought up by my grandparents, and I have always liked getting along with the elderly.” When talking about the origin of her career choice, Chen Yan, who was once a left-behind child, recalled her growth experience. Because of this, she ignored her family’s objections when she was in vocational school and chose to major in elderly services and management. Later, she did not change her major in junior college. After graduation, she naturally came to the elderly care service center.

There were 51 classmates in Chen Yan’s college class, and only a few of them ended up working in nursing homes. It’s not surprising that young people avoid such jobs—it’s a pretty menial, hard job.

After getting up every morning, Chen Yan has to clean the old man’s room, pour hot water, wash his face, and then take the old man to have breakfast. After eating, it’s time to chat, bask in the sun, and do health exercises. In the afternoon, based on different interests and hobbies, she arranged activities such as playing mahjong, handicrafts, singing and dancing. The old man went to bed early. In the evening, Chen Yan would wash the old man’s feet, wipe his body, and take a bath.

During the Spring Festival holiday, Chen Yan washed the feet of the elderly.Photo by Lu Yang

With an average age of over 85, not many of them can feed themselves, so they need nursing staff to feed them bite by bite. In daily work, some elderly people become emotionally unstable and unclear due to illness, and even lose their temper with caregivers. Sometimes, family members do not understand the caregiver’s difficulties and speak harshly. When you feel wronged, you naturally need to resolve it. This is why Chen Yan “cryed every three days” when she first started working.

“Mom and dad don’t know these experiences and work content, and I never said that they would feel distressed.” Speaking of her parents, Chen Yan’s eyes turned red instantly. She raised her head to prevent tears from flowing down. After calming down, she told reporters that her parents had always wanted her to change careers, “but I never gave up. I think this major will develop better and better in the future.”

Because she is passionate about her career, this lively and cheerful “Sichuan girl” has summed up many experiences and methods in her work.

For example, she does not call elderly people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease “grandparents” but calls them by their first names. “Because they don’t know that ‘grandpa and grandma’ are calling them. Although they are confused, they usually remember their names.” She also has her own “methodology” on how to make the elderly happy. “As people get older, they actually… Just like children, you have to change your perspective and enter their world.”

After working for a long time, Chen Yan also became emotionally involved with the old man. Once, she went on a business trip for a week. When she came back, a grandfather saw her and burst into tears. “He thought I wouldn’t come back and resigned.” Chen Yan later learned from the old man’s son that the old man used to be a teacher with a strong personality and had never cried before. Not only was she shocked, but she also realized that after being together for a long time, they had feelings for each other and that the elderly could not live without her.

During the Spring Festival holiday, Chen Yan took the elderly to do crafts.Photo by Lu Yang

In the eyes of many people, nursing homes are often deserted and lack vitality. On the contrary, Chen Yan believes that if you stay here for a long time, you will find a happy side. “In addition to trivial matters and hard work, there is also joy and a sense of accomplishment.” Sometimes, Chen Yan passed by the old man’s room and said hello outside the door. The old man would take her into the room and give her delicious food. There are even some elderly people who don’t listen to their children and only listen to the caregivers, which gives her a sense of accomplishment.

“Many people still think that only unfilial children will send the elderly to nursing homes. In fact, they are completely wrong.” Chen Yan said that for the elderly, especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, the most important thing is It’s about companionship. If you stay at home for a long time, your condition will become worse and worse.

“When the elderly arrive at a nursing home, they have interpersonal communication, talk and think, and their condition will be relieved. I also want the elderly to live with more dignity in their later years.” When talking about the future, Chen Yan said that she does not intend to give up this job. Keep at it. “I’m just imagining that when I get old, there will be a young man who takes care of me like this and makes me laugh every day. How nice it would be.” She comforted herself and laughed. (over)

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This news article has been translated from the original language to English by WorldsNewsNow.com.

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