Invest in training 'eldercarers'

It is good news to hear that the Government is investing in the training of "educarers" of pre-schoolers ("Pre-nursery staff get on-job training"; yesterday).

I urge the authorities to also consider a similar training strategy to better equip "eldercarers" in looking after older people.

This need became clear to me when I did research on the elderly in Britain. There is a dire need to grow the ageing care sector in Singapore as well.

We should not leave our elderly to cheap - or free, when a family member is involved - labour when they deserve the best and most dignified care. We need "eldercarers" who understand the specific physiological, emotional and social needs of the elderly.

In turn, these "eldercarers" need a career progression structure that would make this career attractive to young people or to those returning to work.

Lee Siew Peng (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2015, with the headline 'Invest in training 'eldercarers''. Print Edition | Subscribe