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Resources available for community support of caregivers

We agree with Mr Tony Lim Kheng Yee on the importance of caregiver wellbeing (“Caregivers need support to cope with stress, burnout”; 6 Dec).

Lim Soon Hua, Head, Media and Marketing, Corporate and Marketing Communications, Agency for Integrated Care

We agree with Mr Tony Lim Kheng Yee on the importance of caregiver wellbeing (“Caregivers need support to cope with stress, burnout”; 6 Dec).

Those caring for elders or frail family members can look into a range of support services and programmes.

Caregivers often place the needs of their loved ones first, but rest or a break is necessary at times for their mental and physical wellbeing.

For those who need it, respite services such as Centre-Based Weekend Respite Care and Nursing Home Respite Care services can offer short-term care for their loved ones for a few weekend hours or for a period of seven to 30 days respectively.

Caregivers of persons with dementia can also arrange for an eldersitter to engage their loved ones at home for a few hours.

For caregivers who need reassurance and confidence that they are providing proper care for their loved ones, they can attend caregiver training to pick up useful skills. They can apply for a S$200 annual Caregivers Training Grant to offset the cost of over 240 approved training courses. These courses include managing day-to-day care, caring for loved ones with dementia, clinical skills such as tube-feeding and stoma care, as well as communication and self-care skills.

Should they urgently need to hire a foreign domestic worker (FDW) trained in eldercare, they can do so from about 40 employment agencies participating in the Eldercarer FDW Scheme. The workers hired through this scheme have undergone comprehensive training and are equipped with the basic skills to help care for seniors.

Caregivers who need a listening ear and emotional support can consider joining Caregiver Support Groups, such as those supported by public hospitals. By connecting and exchanging experiences with fellow caregivers, they can gain strength from one another and pick up useful caregiving tips and tricks.

Finally, those who need financial support can apply for assistance schemes. They include the FDW Grant and FDW Levy Concession for Persons with Disability to offset the cost of hiring a foreign domestic worker, and the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund for subsidies to buy assistive devices such as wheelchairs.

For more information, we encourage caregivers to visit www.silverpages.sg or call the toll-free Singapore Silver Line at 1800-650-6060. They can also drop in at seven AICare Link units located at public hospitals and on Maxwell Road to speak to our care consultants.

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