Tuesday, January 08, 2019

What’s in Your Bag?

Carting around a laptop for work may be the norm for those working in the corporate world. For Arlene, a healthcare assistant from Orange Valley Nursing Homes, carrying around a bag of equipment is part of the job when she visits clients’ homes. As a home care staff, Arlene needs to be prepared with essential items to assist in caring for her clients. She shares what’s in her “care bag”.


What do you carry in your bag or what do you normally pack when you visit a client?

The necessary items that I bring with me are a digital blood-pressure (BP) machine, thermometer, disposable gloves, disposable masks, disposable aprons, alcohol hand-rub, non-surgical scissors, torchlight, service report forms, extra batteries for the BP set, a home-care booklet for first time assessment as well as home-care brochures.

Arlene’s bag shot

Name one or two items in your bag that may be unusual but you found it very helpful for your work. What do you use it for?

I carry around a torchlight all the time. You never know when you will need to look for objects in dark areas like under the bed or for emergencies like a power outage.


How does Orange Valley assess the services needed by the client and caregiver?

After a client has confirmed the services required, we will go down for an assessment together with the care staff. During this meeting, there will be a brief introduction to get to know the client and understand their specific needs before the actual commencement of the first homecare session. We then lay out care plans based on the client’s needs.

What motivates you to join the community care sector?

My grandparents have influenced me to enter the sector.  Beyond that, my family is the key motivator for me to work hard. I also enjoy caring for clients and seeing the joy on their faces when they are being taken care of.

Going that Extra Mile

Ms Vanessa Kang, daughter of 95-year-old Mr Kang Ah Lek, shares her experience of having Arlene as a home care staff for her father: “My father retired at 90 years old and had been very independent. When he started facing difficulties in taking care of himself, he did not want to trouble anyone. However, as his health continued to deteriorate due to old age, he faced difficulties in performing his daily chores such as eating, bathing and changing himself. Hence, home care services become necessary. Arlene has been caring for my father for slightly over a year. She visits five days a week for two hours each time. Although they do not speak the same language, my father is very happy under Arlene’s care.

Arlene is patient and understanding towards my father’s needs. She sometimes even goes the extra mile to help with simple household chores, which is not part of her job scope. Under her care, my father’s body itch condition improved and parts of his body, which were swollen, recovered. We are grateful to have caregivers like Arlene to care for our loved ones.

Arlene with Mr Kang Ah Lek
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