Friday, November 20, 2009

Raymond's next letter to the New Paper :PART-TIME MAIDS FOR CAREGIVERS

Home help services unsatisfactory

This letter was published in the New Paper on Friday 20 November 2009, page 24.

I am disappointed with the reply given by the Ministry of Manpower, “Impractical for maids to commute daily” (The New Paper, 19 Nov).

Caregivers who make every effort to look after their elderly sick should be commended and given all the support they need.

Mr David Soh Poh Huat's suggestion “Allow trained part-time caregivers” (The New Paper, 14 Nov) deserves full consideration.

It is easy to shoot down an idea, but it takes effort to study and implement bold , even radical ideas.

In the case of caring for the mentally ill, the journey is extremely tough, so much so that many give up and either leave their stricken ones to fend for themselves or place them in hospitals or homes.

Even though my wife has suffered horrifically from schizophrenia, depression and 4 other chronic illnesses, I have not chosen to give up on her for 35 years. But ours is an isolated and lonely journey.

Allowing part-time maids for caregivers will give us some respite, which is something that we desperately need, especially if we make every effort to stay loyal to our stricken ones.

Moreover with the rising cost of living in Singapore, part-time maids will allow family members to engage in some part-time work and help with household expenses.

I have tried the home help services and found them unsatisfactory.

I found the meals unpalatable and the cost of transport services for medical appointments were not easy to bear.


Thursday, November 19, 2009 - People helping people - Center for Online Support Groups

MDJunction is home to more than 630 Online Support Groups each dedicated to one health challenge - a place where thousands of patients meet every day to discuss their feelings, questions and hopes with like minded friends.

It is a proven way to find information, comfort, support and friendship with people who are in your spot and understand you best.

I have joined the schizophrenia support group given my 35 years' experience in caring for my beloved wife, Doris. I find it useful and comforting knowing that we(my wife & I) are not alone in our journey .

Check out their nice website:


Raymond Anthony Fernando

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Raymond's letter to the Press: Elder Abuse: Caregivers need compassion and support

My letter to the New Paper was published today, Wednesday, 4th November 2009, page 21

I refer to the article, “Most abuse cases by victims' children” (The New Paper, 22 Oct).

I am glad that Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports Vivian Balakrishan has raised the issue of elder abuse, as it is becoming a worrying trend here in Singapore.

Taking care of the mentally ill and those with multiple chronic illnesses is extremely stressful, and can bring out the best or the worse in people.

Family conflicts are bound to set in when relatives refuse to share in caregiving. I am trapped in this unfortunate circumstance.

As a sole caregiver to my wife who has schizophrenia, arthritis and three other chronic illnesses, I have suffered burnout countless times. My 34-year journey in caring for my wife all by myself is now affecting my health and I am experiencing severe nerve and eye problems.

It is a daily routine for me to prepare 41 tablets for my wife's multiple illnesses. I also have to do all the household chores. Who will see to my wife's needs if my health suffers?

The strain of bringing my wife for up to four medical appointments in a month is wearing me out. I have never had any sort of respite.

The harsh reality is that when you are looking after a family member with a serious mental disorder such as schizophrenia, you all all alone in this world.

I have to be with my wife 24 hours of the day because her arthritis condition puts her at risk of falling.

It is also very costly for me to look after her with no support.

In the UK I am told that people in our predicament get a lot of support. Not only is a caregiver allowance given, it seems the authorities even allow the caregivers to enjoy a two-week holiday whilst their sick loved ones are also put up at a holiday home.

I appeal to the Government to understand our plight and provide us with the support that we so badly need.

Caregivers do not need sympathy and pity. What they need is compassion and support.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Our Latest Book

The perfect gift for Christmas & the New Year:

The Glass Slippers and other stories for children is a delightful collection of short stories written for children and parents to read together. This book, which comes in full colour, has a collection of 10 adventure stories that will keep children on the edge of their seats. There is a local flavour that is blended in some of these tales. Each story is matched with a poem and a drawing that captures the theme of the story. Children between the ages of 5 to 12 will get all excited as they read about, “The Glass slippers”, “The girl who loved tomatoes”, “Celia meets Robin Hood”, “Send in the clown”, “Shipwrecked” and many more.

This book, jointly written by Raymond Anthony Fernando & his wife, Doris Lau Siew Lang costs $18 and makes a perfect gift for Christmas or the New Year! It is expected to be released in December 2009 or early 2010.

To order a copy/copies of this book, send your details to Raymond at his email address at

There will be a postage fee of $2 per book if the book is mailed to the reader. Don't wait , place your order early to avoid disappointment!

Here are two (2) illustrations of the many drawings that will appear in the book. Please note that these illustrations are copyrighted to the authors and their artist.