Car­ing for the el­derly: A life­long pas­sion

Jamaica Gleaner - - RURAL PRESS - Ru­ral@glean­erjm.com

ST MAR­GARET’S BAY, Port­land: AS A child, Oriel An­der­son Green was pas­sion­ate about as­sist­ing the el­derly. She would spend and share special mo­ments with them ev­ery op­por­tu­nity she got.

She pointed out that the car­ing at­ti­tude, which con­tin­ued through­out her teenage years, was also ex­tended to­wards chil­dren, and that it au­to­mat­i­cally be­came a part of her daily adult life.

“I felt very com­fort­able be­ing around the el­derly back then. Day af­ter day, I would spend time comb­ing their hair, tak­ing fire­wood to them, shar­ing my din­ner, and pro­vid­ing them with the lit­tle money I man­aged to save. Look­ing back, I re­alised that it was al­ways in me to be­come an en­tre­pre­neur. At first, I wanted to op­er­ate a day­care cen­tre; how­ever, I couldn’t find the space. All my en­ergy is now cen­tred on this res­i­den­tial care fa­cil­ity for the el­derly,” she told Ru­ral Xpress.

The fa­cil­ity, which of­fers sev­eral ser­vices, in­clud­ing home vis­its, doc­tors’ vis­its, gro­cery shop­ping/pre­scrip­tion fill­ing, na­ture walks, per­sonal care, bill pay­ment, clean­ing and home ven­ti­la­tion, and so­cial­i­sa­tion with peers, was of­fi­cially opened in May 2015 and is cer­ti­fied by the Min­istry of Health.

Cur­rently, eight res­i­dents, in­clud­ing 94-year-old An­nella Edwards, are oc­cu­py­ing the Homewel Nurs­ing Home and Ser­vices fa­cil­ity at New Road in St Mar­garet’s Bay, which is owned and op­er­ated by Green. Ac­cord­ing to her, ad­di­tional fa­cil­i­ties are be­ing built to ac­com­mo­date and house at least 20 el­derly res­i­dents.

A for­mer school­teacher, Green, who lists her hob­bies as pro­vid­ing for the needy and less for­tu­nate, watch­ing tele­vi­sion, and cook­ing, is up­beat about the days ahead, as she is fo­cused on of­fer­ing res­i­den­tial care ser­vices in other parishes, to en­sure that se­nior cit­i­zens can be well cared for is­land­wide.

“I am as­sisted by my 64-year-old mother, Cerdilin Walker, who plays the role of su­per­vi­sor and house mother. She ba­si­cally over­seas the dayto-day Oriel An­der­son Green with 94-year-old An­nella Edwards, a res­i­dent at the Homewel Nurs­ing Home fa­cil­ity in St Mar­garet’s Bay, Port­land.

op­er­a­tion dur­ing my ab­sence and pro­vides me with in­for­ma­tion as to what is needed. This is like a home away from home, and I am happy that I am now able to care for the el­derly, which has been a life­long pas­sion for me.”

CON­TRIB­UTED

De­an­dra Bon­ner with a box of sup­plies con­trib­uted by friends in June.

PHOTO BY GARETH DAVIS

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