Tips for a First-Time Caregiver in Singapore: Do Not Panic
If you’ve recently become a primary caregiver for an ill or ageing loved one, you may know that caregiving can feel overwhelming. Adverse life events or conditions such as dementia or stroke can happen any time, and your loved one may be transitioning from hospital to home. With the increasing life expectancy and low birth rates in Singapore, we’re also faced with a rapidly ageing population. Your parents will eventually grow old and may require your help in daily care.
To ensure that everyone is well-prepared when the situation arises, it’s important to start the conversation as early as possible. In this way, you can also plan your caregiving arrangements according to your loved one’s needs and desires.
Here, we share some tips for first time caregivers in Singapore.
1. Understand the needs and implications of caregiving
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to caregiving is managing the finances. Think about who will be bearing the costs of providing care as this can cause friction between family members if not agreed upon. You can also research and ask around to see what available resources and help are available for your loved one.
Every situation is different, so it’s important to find out all you can about the medical condition. For some, mobility can be an issue and you may need to retrofit your home to be wheelchair-friendly. Learning about signs and symptoms can also help you look out for potential dangers or emergencies.
Knowing how to be a good caregiver can make a big difference in the whole experience – for both you and your loved one. Sign up for caregiving courses in Singapore or join support networks within the community. Finally, it’s also important to learn how to manage your time especially if you are juggling a professional life as well.
2. Build a team
Caregiving is usually a long-term commitment and can be stressful for many. Gather enough support from friends, family members and the community in Singapore as they can help when you need to take a breather. Build a strong network so that you don’t need to shoulder all the responsibilities yourself, as this can lead to caregiver burnout and stress.
3. Create a sustainable caregiving plan
Sustainability is the name of the game here, so spend some time thinking about how to approach the caregiving duties. If you have already decided upon a support network, have a discussion to determine roles and responsibilities. Ensure that there is a proper communication channel to provide updates and handle emergencies, such as a WhatsApp group. Keep all medication, appointments and milestones organised and updated at all times. There are also many caregiving or healthcare apps to make the process easier.
4. Take care of yourself, too
Many people in Singapore lead busy lives, and the process of caregiving will most likely add on to the list of things you’ll need to do. The process of caregiving can be tiring – both physically and mentally. But don’t forget to care for yourself, too. Taking time off for yourself allows you to recharge and destress. You can do things that you enjoy to keep your moods elevated, and also reach out to a friend to share your woes.
As a caregiver, your well-being should always come first. You need to be well-rested, nourished, and hydrated in order to maintain your own physical health. You should also have a strong support system that you can rely on for moral support when you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed out. If you think that things are too much for you to handle, consider respite care support from a third-party service provider. It allows caregivers to take a break without having to worry about the wellbeing of their loved ones. Or you can also opt for a live in or part time caregiver in Singapore to help you out.
Don’t panic, there’s help
Take a deep breath and remember that there’s always help around the corner. Our team of professional caregivers at Jaga-Me understands this and is committed to helping you with the tasks of caregiving so you can focus on spending quality time with your loved one. Whether it’s giving medications, keeping to medical appointments, or simply transporting the care recipient around in Singapore, we’re here to support. Contact us to find out more.
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