Welcome on the journey of caregiving

As we journey through life, many of us will become ‘caregivers’ and experience caregiving in some form or another.

Longer lifespan of the elderly and shrinking family sizes lead to a new set of challenges for caregivers today. A common scenario in Singaporean families now is that of adults having to juggle the roles of parenting and work, in addition to taking care of their elderly parents. When our loved ones encounter complicated medical conditions, the physical and emotional stress for caregivers becomes overwhelming.

Our campaign hopes to inspire more people caring for elderly family members to self-identify as caregivers, and learn ways to manage their caregiving responsibilities. Caregivers can also come together in mutual-help groups.

Because you care, it does mean not that you have to care alone.

‘Walk With Me’ is also a call to all caregivers and prospective ones, to realise the importance of self-care.

In this website, we share with you some issues close to your heart about family caregiving for the elderly. While we have concluded our campaign, do check out the posts about our community outreach events. Feel free to get in touch with us to know more too 🙂

This entry was posted on January 27, 2012. 1 Comment

“Caring for the Whole Self” Experience

In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, how long have it been since you last paused and enjoyed a brief moment of peace and silence with yourself?

On 3 March 2012, a “Caring for the Whole Self” Experience was conducted for a group of caregivers to understand more about self-care. The workshop was conducted by the Greenleaf Centre for Servant-leadership (Asia), as a finale event to conclude our “Walk with Me: A Caregiver’s Journey” campaign.

The workshop, or rather, Experience, was held in Henderson Community Club, and much effort was poured in to ensure an inviting and harmonious environment for the participants. The 3-hour long session involved learning more about our own needs (Physical, Intellectual, Emotional and Spiritual, known as PIES), reflection of own thoughts and emotions, sharing, and also practices such as stretching and breathing.

The two facilitators, Yim Harn and Lock Wui, created a welcoming experience for all participants, as they slowly guided everyone through a holistic journey of self-discovery and self-care.  Being a caregiver herself, Lock Wui also shared her own personal experiences which other caregivers could relate to.  With soothing instrumental music in the background, participants were provided a temporary sanctuary from the outside world, taking their minds off from their worries for that brief moment to do some checks on their own well-being.

In their daily routine to care for their loved ones, caregivers shared that they often placed their care recipients as their foremost priority, neglecting their own physical and mental well-beings. However, one of the central motifs of the workshop “We cannot give what we do not have” affirms the need for caregivers to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually adequate in order to provide the best care for their loved ones.

Take a short break from your hectic day, reflect on your PIES, and be aware of the messages your body is sending. This sounds so simple, but is in fact a luxury to have as we so often forget to check back on ourselves.

It is time to pause, and take care of your whole self.

Roving Exhibition Booths – CCK Polyclinic & KTPH

In the month of February, the Walk With Caregivers Team visited Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic and Khoo Teck Puat Hospitals with our roving exhibition booths. We were definitely heartened to talk to caregivers who shared interesting insights about their personal course of caregiving, some with touches of humor, others with a sense of melancholy.

Regardless, we hope to let our unnamed heroes of everyday life- the family caregivers- to know that, we heard you. Yes, you are not alone. The journey may be filled with challenges, but love makes everything worthwhile, and do not hesitate to request for help when your shoulders are too heavy from the responsibilities. A central motif of our campaign is to care for yourself, because a happy caregiver is a good caregiver 🙂

It has been a very fruitful and meaningful experience for the team as we interact with everyone from all walks of life, and managed to engage and convey our campaign’s messages across. Other than walking the participants through the exhibition panels, we have also prepared our own informational booklet and an enjoyable board game for all.  The team hopes that all caregivers and non-caregivers alike will take home some important knowledge and a deepened understanding about caregiving.

We will also like to take this chance to thank AWWA Centre for Caregivers, Health Promotion Board, Choa Chu Kang Polyclinic as well as Khoo Teck Puat Hospital for their generous help to enable the success of our roadshows.

Check out some interesting behind-the-scene shots during our roadshows!

Baked Beans!  🙂

Our goodie bag! With (yes, baked beans), recipe book, DVD and more!

The team at work! See the giant die and our colourful gameboard? 🙂

Roll the die and get going! 🙂

Last but not least,

at the end of the day… tired but satisfied 🙂