Care To Make A Difference

Last edited on 06 Jan 2017

image source: Active Global Specialised Caregivers

The demand for home care and eldercare services is expected to increase. In 2016, the total number of citizens aged 65 and above grew 5.6% to ~467,000 and is expected to almost double to 900,000 in 2030. Not only is Singapore’s population aging. Patients and families are also increasingly choosing home-based care, further fueling demand. 

To meet this demand, home care service providers like Active Global Specialised Caregivers have entered the market and are actively recruiting respite and personal caregivers.

image source: Active Global Specialised Caregivers

Freeboh met up with three respite caregivers from Active Global to understand the role better and what it takes to be a caregiver. 

The caregivers, all retired nurses, left their profession to become full-time moms as they could not commit to the long hours of hospital work. However, they are still passionate about the work of caring and helping patients. Providing home care on a flexible work basis allows them to continue using their skills while balancing other aspects of their life. They are able to earn and contribute to the family finances while still looking after their children and parents.

What does a caregiver do?

Caregivers visit patients’ homes to provide basic health services, such as health checks, simple exercises, or dressing changes, and personal care, such as helping them eat and bathe.

The patients they visit may have dementia, Alzheimer’s and autism, or may be recovering from stroke or operations. Each case is unique, and some may be challenging, as patients could have mobility issues or may not always be cooperative!

Therefore, caregivers have to take the extra effort to observe and understand the patient’s needs and living situation. They also need to work closely with the patient’s family members to find the best way to help and communicate with the patient.

Does caregiving require nursing qualifications?

Caregivers do not need to be qualified nurses. Not all patients need nursing help. The skills needed to assist patients with eating and bathing can be trained, and most caregivers draw from personal experience caring for elderly family members. Agencies like Active Global also provide training as part of their recruitment process. If you would like to make a difference and contribute as a caregiver, Qualifications and lack of training won't stop you!

What qualities are needed to be a caregiver?

The caregivers agreed that aspiring caregivers need to be patient and compassionate, providing warmth and a caring touch to the patient. Caregivers also need some creativity to build trust and influence the patient. Often, a caregiver needs to bridge the gap between the patient and their family members. Soft skills are therefore vital to help communicate the patient’s needs and feelings to the family.

The required “hard” skills, such as basic respite and personal care, can be built up through training and experience.

Most importantly, the caregivers emphasised that when providing home care services to patients, caregivers need to have a strong sense of responsibility. They need to ensure the well-being of the patient as the family have entrusted them with the care of their loved ones.

To conclude, providing home care may not be the easiest of jobs as it comes with a lot of responsibility. However, caregivers play an important role in improving the lives of their clients, and many derive great satisfaction from this. Flexible caregiving arrangements also create an opportunity for retired nurses, mothers, and others who are already providing care to their family to earn an income while doing meaningful work.

If you'd like to make a difference in someone's life from working as a caregiver, apply with Active Global below! :) 

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