Give maids proper caregiver training

The increased recognition that caregiver burnout is a serious problem, and the subsequent efforts made to implement support programmes are heartening('More needs to be done to help caregivers'; Sept 4).

We hope this movement to appreciate caregivers includes foreign domestic workers, who play vital roles as caregivers in many households in Singapore.

Some employment agencies estimate that up to 70 per cent of families hire domestic workers to care for ageing parents.

In the experience of the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home), overwork and a lack of rest days are common problems faced by domestic workers.

Inadequate training to prepare them for the specialised demands of care work, particularly if it involves persons with disabilities or serious illnesses, is a serious concern.

One of our recommendations is that domestic maids be given adequate preparation and training, including training on how to care for the elderly and persons with special needs. Home Academy provides extensive training for foreign domestic worker caregivers looking after the elderly.

The burden on caregivers will continue to rise as Singapore's ageing population grows.

Stephanie Chok Juin Mei

Case Manager

Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (Home)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 08, 2017, with the headline 'Give maids proper caregiver training'. Print Edition | Subscribe