Caring for Caregivers: Navigating Mental Health Challenges and Seeking Support

As Singapore’s population ages rapidly, the demand for caregivers has also intensified, presenting many challenges and stressors for those in this vital role. According to a recent report in The Straits Times, 18.4% of citizens are 65 years and older, highlighting the pressing need for caregiving support. With this demographic shift comes the need for more caregivers, who often juggle multiple responsibilities, including caring for ageing parents or family members, managing household tasks, and maintaining their own careers and personal lives.

Challenges faced by caregivers

The environment in which caregivers operate is fraught with difficulties, with over 40% of caregivers at risk of depression. The demanding nature of caregiving, coupled with the emotional toll of witnessing a loved one’s decline in health, can lead to feelings of overwhelm, stress, and isolation. Caregivers often sacrifice their own well-being, neglecting self-care and putting their needs on the back burner as they prioritise the needs of their loved ones. Another challenge identified was that there is an increased risk of depression for caregivers when there is a lack of practical assistance.

Treating a patient’s foot

Making a difference

SATA Commhealth offers comprehensive support services to address caregivers’ needs. Its caregiver training programmes equip individuals with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide quality care to their loved ones while also taking care of themselves. Our training covers various aspects of caregiving, including practical skills, emotional support, and stress management techniques.

Additionally, SATA Commhealth’s homecare services provide personalised care plans tailored to meet the specific needs of each individual, allowing caregivers to access professional assistance and support in the comfort of their own homes. SATA Commhealth’s rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and physiotherapy services further complement the caregiving journey by promoting independence, mobility, and overall well-being for both caregivers and care recipients.

While caregivers face daunting challenges, prioritising self-care and accessing support services can alleviate the burden and promote overall well-being. SATA Commhealth plays a crucial role in providing comprehensive support to caregivers, underscoring the importance of collaborative efforts in addressing the needs of Singapore’s ageing population. Caregivers are encouraged to recognise their own needs, seek assistance when necessary, and take proactive steps to maintain their physical, emotional, and mental health as they navigate the complexities of caregiving.

How to spot signs of caregiver burnout

Watch out for increased stress, fatigue, irritability, withdrawal, neglecting personal needs and health issues.

How to prevent caregiver burnout

Manage stress, stay organised, educate yourself, take breaks and seek support. One possible way is through the caregiver and rehabilitation training provided by SATA CommHealth.

For more information, please reach out to SATA CommHealth via their website https://www.sata.com.sg/caregiver-training-now-available/ or https://www.sata.com.sg/rehabilitation-services/; through their hotline +65 6244 6688 as well as via email [email protected].

 

Contributed by Sim Shuhua, Senior Staff Nurse at SATA CommHealth.


Images: SATA CommHealth

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