Monday, April 7, 2014

Raymond's letter to The Straits Times: Tap family caregivers' experience

I agree with Mr Darren Chan Keng Leong that obtaining feedback from professional caregivers can help to improve the allocation of manpower ("Boost image, training to attract more professional caregivers"; last Monday).

Although caregiving is no easy task, it is a meaningful journey - especially when you can help to contribute to the well-being of the care recipient.

While training from professionals is necessary to equip caregivers with the skills to manage their sick loved ones, it is just as important to tap the knowledge of family caregivers who are living the experience, and who are prepared to make all the sacrifices in the long and unpredictable journey.

As far as health care is concerned, the Government often seeks the views of voluntary welfare organisations, health-care providers, grassroots leaders and selected members of the public to understand sentiments on the ground before implementing its policies.

Resilient family caregivers with a wealth of experience in supporting their loved ones for decades can provide a clearer and better perspective of what it is like to care for loved ones grappling with physical and intellectual challenges.

When there is a better understanding of how family caregivers cope with the emotional, physical and financial challenges they encounter every day, the Government will be in a better position to formulate or refine its policies to support citizens who deserve a helping hand before they suffer burn-out.

To this end, I urge the Government to engage family caregivers in its discussions and forums when implementing and refining its policies.

Raymond Anthony Fernando


No comments: