Katrina’s Recipe for Success in Caring for the Elderly

Makes one Pumpkin Pudding



2 Gentle hands

1 Loving Heart, opened

¼ cup Sympathy

4 tablespoons Patience

2 Attentive Eyes

½ cup Acceptance, pre-washed/clean

1 teaspoon Compassion

2 Listening Ears

A small pinch Unconditional Kindness, to season


  1. Preheat your oven to 180°C or 160°C for Fan-Forced. This ensures Warmth.
  2. Melt to your audience. These are old people, patients at an Intensive Care nursing home. Be mindful that most of them are of Christian denomination, for this is Christian Aged Care. Think about appropriate behaviour and language.
  3. Spread love on the old people with 2 Gentle Hands. They are fragile and delicate. Gentle hands also promote an empowerment for the old person who may be incompetent, but they still hold dignity.
  4. Enfold your senior with 1 Loving Heart. It is crucial that this heart is opened, for they need room to move and breathe, yet help in their fragile age.
  5. Marinate your speaker/senior 2 Attentive eyes, however exercise respect when they are in need of privacy. They are under your 24 hour protection. Offer them your full attention, as this lessens their feeling of rejection and abandonment and heightens their feeling of being wanted.
  6. Knead ½ cup of Acceptance into the families who may be feeling guilty, as well as the patients. The patients may feel as if they were left and abandoned, however the families may have no alternative. This acceptance must be cleaned from prenotions of the anachronistic 21st Century life. Be mindful that these are the pearls of society, that they are from a past era and they have different expectations and values to you. A good way to exercise this is to create an environment suitable to the aged. Perhaps youth pop music is not appropriate, perhaps music of the Wartime genre is. Remember that your patients were greatly affected by this period.

** Residents such as Veronica were War time nurses and they harbour memories from the 1940s and hallmarks such as the War. Note that Veronica responds attentively to music by Glenn Miller and that perhaps an activity for the Recreation time on Friday afternoons could be a Wartime dance. Look into volunteers who are able to dance the Boogie Woogie, the Foxtrot, the Quickstep and Jazz. For lazier afternoons, introduce the Serenade.

  1. Soak in your senior’s story with 2 Listening Ears. Your residents are as old as time itself and they have seen and lived through experiences that you will not ever comprehend. When they begin to tell a story, cherish that moment in your day- it is a gift from a time gone by. They often want a listener, even if their speech is hard to comprehend.

**Residents such as Linda are selectively mute. She has not uttered a word for the past few months. However, note that she livened up when a visitor arrived to play the piano. (Log the piece and composer, perhaps attain a copy of this for when he is not available to play).

  1. Lightly season your patient with a few sprinkles of Unconditional Kindness. This cajoles them to see another day.

**Residents such as Dewi have Alzheimer’s. Implement your kindness when people like her become forgetful or distressed. See that she feels comfortable in a familiar environment and that she has a doll with her. Her doll is her lifeline.

  1. Combine your preconceived notions with ¼ cup of sympathy. If they spill their tea or lack in personal hygiene, remember that they are timeworn and can’t help it. Sympathy and a pinch of consideration go a long way.
  2. Blend in 4 tablespoons of Patience, because these patients are slowing down and reaching the end of the race. They may not approve of your actions and they may not approve of your way of washing them, cleaning them or feeding them. But know within yourself that it is for their benefit and try not to carry their burdens on shoulders of your own. This may be a little easier when coupled with 1 teaspoon of Compassion.


Don’t just save this recipe for a special occasion, share this recipe as often as possible. Serve warm to enhance sweetness and share with family and friends.