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Supporting Caregivers of Seniors – You can play a part too!

With an ageing population you will witness an increase in the number of caregivers accompanying their loved ones to your clinic.  

It is important to care for caregivers too as they are often the ones tending to the needs of their seniors and may experience burnout after a period of time. However, with community care support, caregivers can go the distance in assisting our seniors in ageing-in-place.

Mr Tan Sue Hoai, a 70 year-old caregiver is an example of how community support has enabled him to provide long-term care to his 64 year old wife. Mr Tan and his wife live independently and do not have any children. His wife is wheelchair bound as a stroke caused hemiparesis on the left side of her body. During the initial stages of caregiving, Mr Tan was at a loss and often felt overwhelmed as he needed to tend to all of her activities of daily living. Due to the stress of caring for her, he contemplated placing her in a nursing home.  

Support for Mr Tan came when the centre (Peacehaven Bedok Multi-Service Centre) that was assisting Mrs Tan with her physiotherapy also assessed that Mr Tan was experiencing caregiver’s stress and could benefit from a programme called Temasek Foundation Cares – CarerSupport@Centres.

As part of the programme, the centre assessed Mr Tan’s needs and conducted regular follow-ups with him. He was assessed to require caregiver training and emotional support and the centre supported him in these areas. The centre also assisted in applying for another wheelchair through the Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund to replace his wife’s worn out wheelchair.

Mr Tan shared that he felt assured knowing that the centre was there to support and act as a point of contact for him.  He felt more confident in caring for his wife at home too.

The Temasek Foundation Cares – CarerSupport@Centres is a three-year pilot programme supported by Temasek Foundation Cares. The programme integrates caregiver support at five senior day centres alongside mainstreamed senior care services. The programme builds the capabilities of the centres’ staff, and puts in place a system with structured processes and resources to provide caregivers with emotional and practical support, e.g. caregiver training, information and referral services. Caregivers of seniors with dementia are also trained to manage challenging behaviours, while those with complex care needs are supported by a team of social workers.

You can play a part in supporting caregivers by helping to identify and direct them to the resources available.  To do so, AIC had rolled out “Walking with Caregivers” Resource Kit.  

The Kit is an online guide that supports care professionals in sharing essential caregiving knowledge with caregivers. The information provided includes:  

- Identifying the caregivers who need support 

- Understanding the caregiver journey and how you can support them  

- Tips on  self-care and effective caregiving for caregivers  

- The resources and care options available in the community to support  caregivers and their seniors  

Download the guide here to find out how you can support your patients in their caregiving journey or you may contact gp@aic.sg for enquiries. 



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