We agree with the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics on the importance of foreign domestic workers, especially those in caregiving roles, having adequate preparation and training to care for seniors and those with disabilities or special needs (Give maids proper caregiver training; Sept 8).
Equipping them with the proper caregiving techniques and skills can help to relieve the stress level they might experience.
Caregivers can tap the Caregivers Training Grant, administered by the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), to go for the approved training courses themselves, or send their foreign domestic workers to do so.
The $200 annual grant can be used to offset the cost of training, including that for the foreign domestic workers.
There are currently over 240 approved caregiver training courses offered by close to 60 training providers to choose from.
The courses cover a variety of areas, including day-to-day care, caring for loved ones with dementia or disability, clinical skills such as tube feeding and stoma care, communication skills, and teaching caregivers to manage their stress and emotions.
About two-thirds of the courses cater to caregivers looking after seniors at home.
To better cater to caregivers' schedules, more than half of the training providers offer home-based courses.
Alternatively, families looking to hire a foreign domestic worker to support caregiving can hire one pre-trained to look after seniors.
Under the Eldercarer Foreign Domestic Worker Scheme, selected employment agencies will facilitate the training for the foreign domestic workers prior to their deployment.
The foreign domestic workers will attend a comprehensive training course to learn how to manage seniors' activities of daily living.
The curriculum comprises hands-on training both in the classroom and on the job at the senior's home. The latter helps the foreign domestic workers tailor what they have learnt to the specific needs of the senior they are caring for.
Families with existing foreign domestic workers may also send them for this course.
We encourage caregivers and employers of foreign domestic workers to take up these caregiver training courses and the support available.
Interested caregivers can visit www.silverpages.sg to find out more about the caregiver training courses or employment agencies with pre-trained foreign domestic workers. Caregivers can also call the Singapore Silver Line on 1800-650-6060 to inquire.
Director, Corporate and Marketing Communications
Agency for Integrated Care