My letter on the above matter was published in The Straits Times on Monday 30th September 2013.
Last Sunday’s reports on caregivers (“Behind the silver surge”) struck a chord with me. Many of the heart-rending stories spoke of sacrifice, strength, resilience and unconditional love.
Unconditional love is what I have practised for 37 years, and like many of the caregivers featured in the reports, I too have suffered burnout – countless times.
If you are a caregiver to a loved one suffering from a serious mental disorder such as schizophrenia, the journey is much more difficult.
When my wife had a relapse of her schizophrenia after knee surgery, I was left to bear the pain – physical, emotional and financial – alone. In her disorientated state of mind, my wife believed I was an imposter and not her husband.
Her full recovery took two months. Attempts to secure support failed miserably, even though I sent a flurry of letters to many government agencies. And mind you, I am educated and IT-savvy. What about those who are not literate?
So who cares for the caregivers?
Raymond Anthony Fernando