Caregivers whose unenviable task in providing support to their care recipients, often 24/7 will surely welcome the move by the Ministry of Health in rolling out the much-needed assistance schemes (“Caregivers, service providers share views in MOH review”, January19, 2019, The Straits Times).
While caregiving is rewarding and noble, many caregivers who do not receive adequate support will experience stress and anxiety leading to their own poor mental and physical health.
Some caregivers take on multiple caregiving roles in the family as not everyone is able to share in caregiving, possibly because some family members have their own families to take care of.
A large number of caregivers have to give up their jobs to provide care to their loved ones and in the case of those struggling with mental illnesses, the task can be daunting. With no key social support, it is difficult to help their loved ones to a full recovery and give them a sense of hope.
In Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada. the government gives a monthly allowance to caregivers under the Caregiver benefit program.
It takes much courage, conviction, sacrifice, love and understanding to provide loving care to sick loved ones, and caregivers do precisely that.
Sadly, most people don’t always appreciate how taxing, both physically and emotionally, the job of caregiver can be for individuals.
Caregivers are the backbone of our long-term care system. If we didn’t have family caregivers with unpaid help, our health care system would in time to come, collapse.
We need to come to terms that caregivers make vitally important, but often unrecognised contributions to society. Additionally, we have to bear in mind that when caregivers lack support, they became isolated and lose the determination to continue in the caregiving journey.
Raymond Anthony Fernando