Worldssps

Year of Compassiion

Compassion: Love in Action

In this Year of Compassion, we will bring stories from our sisters or people related to us sharing their experiences of giving and receiving compassion.

Let’s journey with Sr. Yuliana Mamuk on her experience of awe, love, and togetherness with the elderly.

 

Healthcare for the Elderly

In the heart of Europe, stories about the elderly abound. In the Netherlands, one in five people is 65 years old and older (Central Biro for Statistics). Sr. Yuliana Mamuk shares the beauty of aging, cherishing every stage of life, and highlighting the impact of human connection on the lives of the elderly.

Her journey from Indonesia (Flores, East) unfolds against the backdrop of a stark European reality: the prevalence of the elderly community. Motivated by empathy and a desire to make a meaningful impact, she chose to pursue a career in healthcare in 2008.

“My goal was simply to offer them support,” she confides, her words reflecting the compassion and sincerity that underscore her commitment to enhancing the well-being of those she cares for.

Early Challenges

 

One in five people in the Netherlands is 65 years and older.

Delving into a new field wasn’t without its challenges, but Sr. Yuliana’s experiences in various nursing homes have introduced her to new perspectives. Adjusting to this line of ministry takes time and demands physical stamina.

“The coursework I completed in school provided invaluable insights into patient care. Now, I understand that this mission demands immense patience, yet it brings me more confidence,” Sr. Yuliana said.

Working with the Elderly with Dementia

When Sr. Yuliana attended a caregiving course, she was presented with three options: caring for the elderly, the disabled, or children. She chose to work with the elderly who live at home.

She observed numerous elderly people who were lonely due to age or health-related limitations, making them dependent on others.

“Sometimes, you encounter individuals who require help with household tasks due to physical limitations, preventing them from doing so independently. Other times, your focus is on providing comfort and care to those in need of attention. And then, there are moments when encouragement is needed,” explained Sr. Yuliana.

Navigating Challenges

One challenge, Sr. Yuliana said, is managing the behavioral changes often associated with dementia, such as restlessness, anxiety, or mood swings.

Sr. Yuliana stresses the importance of interacting with the elderly’s caregivers. Collaborative activities provide opportunities to build connections.

“Getting to know them on a personal level helps me better comprehend their situation.” Caregivers also need care.

Touching Moments

Sr. Yuliana said she experienced a sense of togetherness and awe when she held the hand of a dying woman.

Despite the challenges, being with the elderly and those suffering from dementia is filled with beautiful and meaningful moments.

Sr. Yuliana shares: “The people I care for are incredibly sweet. They express their emotions openly, whether they’re feeling happy or sad. Even in their struggles, they always show appreciation, often with a warm hug when I leave.”

One experience for Sr. Yuliana was when she attended to a dying woman. “During the quiet hours of the night, as I sat by her bedside, I felt a deep connection,” she recalled. “Holding her hand, I experienced a profound sense of togetherness and awe, realizing how small I am in the grand scheme of things.”

Her perspective on death has also evolved. “I used to see death as something frightening,” she admits. “But now, I see it as a sacred moment—a return to the One who created us. There’s a sense of awe in returning to the embrace of the One who loves us unconditionally.”

Light in the Tapestry of Aging

 

Sr. Yuliana in her mission with the elderly touches the depths of the souls with compassionate love.

Sr. Yuliana’s journey epitomizes the essence of compassion in action. Despite difficulties, her unwavering dedication illuminates the lives of those she serves, offering solace and connection in the face of loneliness and challenges. Through her commitment, she not only tends to the physical needs of the elderly but also touches the depths of their souls, embodying the transformative power of love and empathy.

Within the intricate tapestry of narratives depicting aging and vulnerability, lies a profound truth: our mere presence can bring comfort, compassion, and healing, showcasing the limitless potential of the human spirit to offer solace to others.

Sr. Veronika Lili Purwanti, SSpS – Province of Netherlands

 

 

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