Nadia Ahmad Kutubuddin

According to definitions, a caregiver is a person giving daily physical care and emotional support of someone who can no longer care for them self due to illness, injury or disability. Caregiving is most commonly used to address impairments related to old age, disability, a disease, or a mental disorder.

A chance to make a difference

According to definitions, a caregiver is a person giving daily physical care and emotional support of someone who can no longer care for them self due to illness, injury or disability. Caregiving is most commonly used to address impairments related to old age, disability, a disease, or a mental disorder.

Nadia Ahmad Kutubuddin enjoys her job as a caregiver for senior citizens as she enjoy having meaningful conversations and listening to people sharing their life stories and sometimes whatever that’s going on in their mind.

Caregiver Nadia Ahmad Kutubuddin, revealed that she enjoys her job as a cargiver because she loves working with people. “I enjoy the work I do when it involves one-on-one interaction with people. I like the idea of having the potential to make a difference in someone’s life.”

The youngest among nine siblings, Nadia was raised in Brunei and came back to Malaysia after her studies. Prior to becoming a caregiver, she worked as a recruitment consultant. “Honestly, the idea of working as a recruiter — someone who helps other people get a job was great! I love it when a person appreciates me for securing a job for them and I gained more connections afterwards.”

However, working in the recruitment line requires her to hit targets amid a face-paced environment. She admitted that she started having nightmares and anxiety attacks almost daily as she was constantly thinking about work. Due to the stress, Nadia decided to resign and continue with her studies.

After she graduated and got married, Nadia returned as she received offers to be a recruitment consultant. Eventually, she returned to the industry with hesitance. “It was only for a short period. I decided that I wanted to be a housewife because I enjoy cooking, cleaning and just doing house chores. It brings me joy when my husband enjoys my cooking and how happy he is to come home to a clean house.”

Soon after, Nadia saw an advertisement from Homage, a local caregiving service. Having no experience in taking care of senior citizens, Nadia applied anyway as the opportunity came together with training on caregiving skills.

In her late twenties now, Nadia had been working as a caregiver for many months and has not regretted her decision.

“I enjoy having meaningful conversations and listening to people sharing their life stories and whatever that’s going on in their mind. I get to bond with people, not just the elderly but also their family members,” she said. The cheerful lady also hoped that someday when she grows old, she would meet someone like her to be there when she needs help.
During her first care visit, Nadia recalled feeling nervous. Nonetheless, with a strong will and determination, she took the challenge. “I kept reminding myself that I need to have patience when communicate with seniors.”

She disclosed that one of the challenges as a caregiver is having to do a manual transfer. “I remembered my first time trying to transfer a bedridden patient who was almost as heavy as I am from her bed to a commode. I tried my best to remain calm.” There are also times when seniors would just want to lay in bed. Nadia would then coax them slowly and patiently by suggesting to play a simple game, going through cookbooks, doing a word search or even watching the television. “It takes time to gain their trust but for one particular first visit, I remembered that one senior did not want to respond or engage in any activities even after I tried talking to her.”

However, some seniors did not want to trouble her regardless as they felt embarrassed because of the condition they was in as in one case, “Thankfully we bonded on my first visit, and she wanted me to come again.” As for care recipients who were not very responsive on her first visit, Nadia shared that she would suggest a visit to the supermarket with the senior. “Upon hearing that, the senior allowed me to dress her, and hold her hand when we were out which was progress for me.”

Being a caregiver for senior citizens also includes those with terminal illnesses. When asked on how did it change Nadia as a person, she answered, “Caregiving has taught me to be a lot more patient and kind. I am also interested to take on learning more about medical conditions that affect seniors and how to help them cope.”

As terminally-ill patients, they tend to be very particular and Nadia said she would often put herself in their shoes.

“Sometimes I would stop and think the way they think. I reflect on how they feel and how I would feel if I was being treated the same way.”

Nevertheless, she strives through the difficulties with the motivation to constantly contribute to anyone in need of her strength and energy. At the same time, Nadia added that it is a great way to earn for herself.

To her, as long as there are elderlies in need, she would be glad to be of service.

“This work gives me a sense of contentment and fulfilment so no matter how tired I am, by the end of the day, I’m happy that I can make people’s lives a little less burdensome as most of the families have day jobs and some of them do not have the strength to take care of their ageing parents or grandparents.”