More can be done to help caregivers cope

The Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors (Singapore) (Apacs) shares and echoes the thoughts of Dr Kalyani K. Mehta, the chairman of the Silver Care Cooperative ("Caregivers need training, societal recognition"; last Friday).

Apacs recently signed a memorandum of understanding with U-Associate (a National Trades Union Congress initiative), and training and societal recognition would be areas that Apacs will be looking into.

Members of Apacs have provided training, in the form of workshops, to caregivers of the elderly, but so far, the focus has been on family members.

We realise that the needs and help caregivers require are contextual, complex, varied and greatly dependent upon the gender, type of ailments or afflictions, age, seriousness of afflictions, mobility and mental or emotional states of the care recipients.

Furthermore, caregivers do not always include family members.

They can include foreign employed domestic helpers who double as secondary caregivers.

Such domestic helpers may have to undergo some basic training too, because culture and language barriers play a great role in their effectiveness as caregivers.

Apacs strongly agrees that more can be done to help caregivers who may be struggling with and juggling resources (both financial and human), time and expertise to offer the often unrecognised and very often frustrating services to those they love and cherish.

Jeffrey Po

Founding President

Association of Psychotherapists and Counsellors (Singapore)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 25, 2016, with the headline 'More can be done to help caregivers cope'. Print Edition | Subscribe