Singapore's Caregiver Crunch
Based on a recent survey by the Duke-NUS Medical School, less than 5 percent of caregivers utilised support services and programmes. With the rapidly ageing population expected to rise from 380,000 currently to 900,000 by 2030, the need for these services and programmes will be greater.
With integrated day care centre vacancies expected to hit 5,500 by 2020, it is still a far cry from matching the steep increase in elderly folks who require these centres’ vital services such as dementia support, physiotherapy and nursing. This will further add physical and mental stress to the caregivers which will affect work performance. Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) Chief, Jason Cheah, mentioned that caregivers may not possess adequate information to decide on and provide the right support and care for their loved ones. The need for employers and the greater community to play a bigger role in reducing the stress of caregiving on the caregivers.
As Director of AWWA Centre for Caregivers, Manmohan Singh, highlighted, eldercare centres should be on a similar standing of accessibility with childcare centres but it is not. The employer and greater community needs to play a more prominent role in preventing burnout of caregivers which is evident given our evolving national population pyramid.