The full version of this story can be viewed on The Straits Times (17 March 2023) here.
In a 2022 survey, published by the National Council of Social Service, that studied caregivers looking after those with disabilities, chronic illnesses or mental health conditions, more than half of those caregivers reported feeling "burdened" by or "barely coping" with their caregiving responsibilities. The same surveyed also showed that those who received assistance supporting their loved ones reported having better quality of life.
Chairman of Silver Caregivers Co-operative Limited (SCCL) Dr Kalyani Mehta highlighted how caregivers are often plagued with different struggles, from having a lack of resources, mental unwellness and physical exhaustion. Not everyone is able to afford hiring a domestic helper or sending their loved ones to daycare services to offload some of the caregiving stresses, she posited.
Interestingly, the co-operative model can play a part to empower caregivers in Singapore, said Mr Ang Hin Kee, chief executive of Singapore National Co-operative Federation (SNCF).
Having helped 500 caregivers since its inception in 2023, SCCL is one good example. Not only does SCCL provide trainings for caregivers, the local co-operative also offer opportunities for caregivers to network and socialise, boosting social and emotional resilience. Workshops organised by SCCL also teach caregivers to cope with depression, stress and even become better communicators.
Read the full story from The Straits Times (17 March 2023) here.