24-hour hotline for caregivers in South West District

The South West Community Development Council had last year announced several initiatives to better support caregivers.
The South West Community Development Council had last year announced several initiatives to better support caregivers.ST PHOTO: KEVIN CHNG

In an effort to provide more support to a growing pool of caregivers in Singapore's ageing society, South West Community Development Council (CDC) yesterday launched a one-stop caregiving hotline.

Meant for residents of the South West District - which covers areas such as Telok Blangah, Jurong and Bukit Gombak - the 24-hour service is an avenue for caregivers to find out about matters such as help schemes, respite services and subsidies.

The CDC had last year announced several initiatives to better support caregivers. They include funding of $500 to help them pay for expenses such as medical equipment and training in caregiving.

Residents can also be referred to social service agencies or caregiving partners to provide them with assistance, by calling the South West Caregiver Hotline on 6258-6683.

Previous media reports estimated that there are more than 210,000 caregivers here, with some 70 per cent of them aged 40 and above.

Mayor of South West District Low Yen Ling, who launched the hotline at the Training and Research Academy at Jurong Point shopping centre, said: "Not only will the hotline answer enquiries related to caregiving needs, but more importantly, it will direct South West residents to caregiving services such as home help and respite care centres near their homes."

Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, the guest of honour at the launch, said that giving support to caregivers and care recipients is crucial. "It is very timely for us to talk about and prepare for caregiving. We are an ageing society. More of us will need help and perhaps require care in our later years," he said.

"Some studies have estimated that around 30,000 Singaporeans aged 75 and above will have a caregiver. This is not a small number, and we can empathise with the demands and stresses that caregivers face."

GUIDE TO NEARBY RESOURCES

Not only will the hotline answer enquiries related to caregiving needs, but more importantly, it will direct South West residents to caregiving services such as home help and respite care centres near their homes.

MAYOR OF SOUTH WEST DISTRICT LOW YEN LING, on the new hotline for caregivers.

The South West Freelance Caregivers scheme was also launched yesterday. It is a training and incentive scheme for caregivers who want to take up training and offer their services during their free time to other caregivers who may need respite.

This initiative is funded by Maybank Singapore and aims to benefit 50 caregivers for the first year.

Caregiving information and resources will also be pooled together into a kit for care staff such as those in nursing homes and social service agencies.

Said Mayor Low: "As our population ages, many of us would become caregivers, at one time or another.

"By equipping and empowering caregivers, we are shoring up our first line of defence and support for the vulnerable and elderly."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on October 27, 2019, with the headline '24-hour hotline for caregivers in South West District'. Print Edition | Subscribe