She lives her life for the elderly
ANYONE CAN TAKE care of the elderly. But not everyone is going to do it properly.
This is the vocation of Andria Prescod who spends most of her days taking care of elderly men and women – residents at the Gentlefolks Nursing Home and Day Care Centre.
“I do it properly because I love elderly folks dearly. You have to love what you do and love the elderly people. That is important and they are my old people and I will take care of them until God is ready to take me home,” she said during a recent interview with the MIDWEEK NATION, taking time out from carrying out her duties at the Salters, St George nursing home.
She boasts about her charges with great pride. She speaks about them as though they are from her bloodline. Actually, Prescod calls them “my old people, they are my own”.
Coming up as a young girl, Prescod took care of her grandparents, ensuring her grandfather was always well shaved. That was when she developed her undying love and appreciation for the old folks who contributed to building the society she was raised in.
At the age of 12, she knew she would either own her own nursing home or work at one. This WEDNESDAY WOMAN is living that promise today, taking her job as a caregiver for the elderly very seriously.
“I love being with the old people. My joy is just being with them, taking care of them and being there for them,” she said.
According to Prescod, a mother of one, it’s a blessing and honour to carry out her duties.
“I come in on mornings and make sure my patients are okay. I check and see how they spent their night. Oh man, it is so great interacting with them. It is marvellous. Everybody always got their own little story to tell you about their days in the past.
“They want to tell you what they did when they were young. I go the extra mile every day I am at work. I make sure everybody gets that extra care they need to be happy. I make jokes with them. Laugh with them . . .,” she said.
Sometimes she receives a tongue-lashing from some of her charges, but expecting this as a natural process as they grow older, the caregiver never responds in kind.
“And some of them have a sharp mouth, but I don’t let that bother me because I know that’s them getting old and that is how they are because the older they get, their body changes.
“Everybody got their own challenges and their own sicknesses but you have to be there for them and support them.”
If not for the elderly, “we wouldn’t be here today,” Prescod said. So if you are not ready to show unconditional love to the elderly, being a caregiver is not a task she would challenge you to take.
“Everyone of these old people in here respects me because I respect them and we have a wonderful relationship. They are my old people and I love them very much,” said the Christian woman.