Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Raymond A Fernando's letter to the press -Allow part-time maids so families can cope better

Caring for an elderly relative involves lots of sacrifices and commitment. Yet, support measures to help ease their struggles are lacking. The task is more daunting for carers of the mentally ill.

My letter to MediaCorp's TODAY newspaper gets published today, Wed 30th April  2014.

After my wife’s knee surgery last year, her doctors at the rehabilitation hospital recommended that I secure a part-time maid, as they were concerned that I would continue to suffer burn-out. Despite several appeal letters sent to government agencies, including the Ministry of Manpower, all failed to respond.
During the period when my wife was alive — she died in the hospital recently — I had to take care of her multiple needs single-handedly. It was no easy task as she had mobility problems because of her advanced arthritis.

A part-time maid could have helped and I am sure there are others in such a predicament.
As it is now mandatory to give foreign domestic workers a weekly rest day, provision for part-time maids would help families who require such services seven days a week.

Also, when foreign domestic workers go on home leave every year or biyearly for two weeks or a month, working parents would take leave to care for their young children, which would disrupt work at the office.

With the introduction of a part-time maid scheme, there would be less of a scramble to find alternative child-minders. It may even pave the way for more young married couples to have more children.


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