The caregiver crunch
Iskandar, Rebecca Faith
Date of Issue2016
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
An Aging Population Without the Caregivers to Match Singapore is ageing at an unprecedented rate. There is a lot of talk about letting the elderly lead a more dignified life. But largely absent from the conversation are the people who support these seniors. People who are not dying but still battle sickness around them each day. People who worry about the health of others as their own. People who are caregivers of the elderly. These are not the healthcare professionals who spend years in training but every day people who dedicate years of their lives to caring for their loved ones. Caregivers are women, men, daughters, sons, in-laws, spouses, maids, friends, colleagues and family members, who are pillars of support in times of their loved ones’ old age. Yet, each face unique hurdles in their circumstances. Half a century of increasing life expectancy has spread the weight of caring for a growing number of elderly over the smaller families of today. Caregivers of the elderly can feel like a population abandoned— aching bodies, lost time, vanishing savings— they shoulder the burden of looking after their loved ones, ignoring the strain on their own backs. In return, these caregivers lose out at work, miss important social gatherings and worse, neglect their own needs. As a modern society entrenched in conservative values, it has become shameful to ask for help. Ageing issues are kept behind closed doors even as families struggle to cope with caring for their elders. Over the past year, these caregivers braved themselves to share their trials and tribulations, their strength and their sorrows in looking after the elderly. Here are their stories.
Final Year Project (FYP)
Nanyang Technological University