HMI Institute, a social enterprise and Singapore’s first dedicated healthcare training provider, emphasised its commitment and plan to address heightening need for more caregiving skills, training and talent.
“With a rapidly ageing population, where 1 in 4 will be over the age of 65 by 2030, the demand for healthcare personnel by the growing healthcare and community care sectors have also increased. Also, more caregiving is being provided by people who aren’t healthcare professionals. Home caregivers often have varying levels of knowledge and skills, and any gaps in their expertise can increase the pressures they face as carers, which can be overwhelming. We believe that empowering both caregivers and care recipients with caregiving knowledge and self-care is central towards delivering on our commitment to building a healthier society together,” said Chin Wei Jia, Group CEO of HMI Group, speaking at the HMI Institutes 20th Anniversary.
The Carebuddy Community Initiative is aimed at making caregiving knowledge and skills more accessible to the local community. This flagship initiative will build upon the extensive experience of HMI Institute’s existing healthcare training programmes for the Care Economy, by pooling and repurposing the Institute’s resources and content into microlearning modules and articles to further extend the reach of its repository of caregiving knowledge and skills to home caregivers and their family. This new initiative comprises an online Carebuddy.co platform, as well as volunteer and community engagement programmes, which will be supported by the new HMI Institute Community Fund.
The newly established HMI Institute Community Fund, with an initial contribution of SGD200,000, will spur the Institute’s initiatives in building capacity and improving caregiving knowledge and skills for the community. It will also be extended to help students requiring additional financial support to undergo and complete their training to become healthcare professionals. HMI Institute understands that the journey for people undergoing mid-career transitions is challenging, and looks toward supporting more locals to join the healthcare workforce; doing so will build human capital for healthcare and community health services.
Through the Carebuddy Community Initiative, HMI Institute looks towards reaching and benefitting 100,000 people in the near term as part of its initial launch. A key component of this Initiative is the integrated online Carebuddy.co caregiving learning platform, which was developed in collaboration with numerous partners, including Dementia Singapore, Singapore Cancer Society, Singapore Hospice Council, NKF, Lions Befrienders, Promises, OneCare Medical, and StarMed Specialist Centre.
By combining the caregiving information and self-guided e-learning on Carebuddy.co with on-ground activations to engage local communities and showcase practical healthcare skills in person, the Institute strives to provide the high-touch online learning and resources needed to uplift and elevate standards of caregiving in the home environment. With this initiative, HMI Institute envisions bringing our students and family caregivers together on one online platform as ambassadors and advocates for caregiving, to build a stronger local safety net with more healthcare-trained neighbours and volunteers nearby.
Through Carebuddy.co, HMI Institute aims to:
- Provide free access to credible information, reviewed by healthcare professionals, allowing caregivers to gain knowledge and skills that will empower them to have greater control and fulfilment in caring for their loved ones
- Simplify complex topics through easy-to-understand, multi-lingual videos to make it simpler for caregivers to learn and apply new skills in their daily lives. At launch, Carebuddy.co will be available in English, with Chinese and Malay content to be added at later stages.
- Create a community and safe space where caregivers can engage in open discussion and gain support and inspiration from other caregivers. Communication and access to first-response knowledge and self-care skills is essential to reducing caregivers’ stress, helping combat burnout.
Images: Carebuddy.co and Envato