Growing demand for caretakers to look after sick people

In today’s world, when almost every member of a family is busy and has little time on hand, a helper who can take care of their sick relative in hospital can prove to be a savior and a necessity.

Caretakers are trained massage techniques to make ill people ease (Photo: SGGP)

In hospitals, nurses who offer support to relatives of sick people, especially terminally ill patients, sometimes double up as cleaners or motorbike drivers.

For instance, at Binh Dan Hospital, relatives of people with ailments pay a commission of VND200,000 to cleaners who find the right helpers at a salary of VND200,000 per day.

Meanwhile, helpers in the Infectious Ward of the Tropical Disease Hospital ask for VND500,000 a day for taking care of a patient, and there is a growing and constant demand.

Some helpers taking care of sick people only work for the money but are careless and have very little compassion for sick people. In Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital in District 5, a helper urged a 70-year-old patient to eat quickly as she had no time to feed him. Food was spilt all over the bed and she was rushing to feed him without pausing.

Nevertheless, there are helpers who are compassionate towards the elderly and sick patients. In Nguyen Tri Phuong Hospital, an elderly man suffering from severe diabetes cannot do his personal chores.  His only son said he was at first very worried that the hired helper would not take care of his father but later realized she takes good care of his old father. 

Now he is happy that his father is well looked after and visits him only on weekends or when he has free time.

As there is shortage of caretakers in hospitals, some hospitals and private companies in Ho Chi Minh City are providing it as a service to meet an increasing demand. Caretakers can be farmers, unemployed persons or housewives and can be trained to take special care of sick and old people.

They are being trained to take blood pressure, follow correct massage techniques or tend to ulcerating wounds, change diapers, and bathe sick patients.

Caretakers can earn a good living and maintain a stable job as the demand is very high. Caretakers attached with a company can enjoy health insurance and a high salary of VND7.5 million ($360) a month.

By Thanh Hai - Translated by Uyen Phuong

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