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06 Oct 2023

6th Oct 2023

Dr Christina Tiong, Chief Executive Officer, Home Nursing Foundation

Distinguished guests

Ladies and gentlemen


Good morning. It is my pleasure to join you today at the Home Nursing Foundation’s (HNF) Caregiving Conference.


Singapore’s Caregiving Landscape


2               With Singapore’s ageing population and shrinking family sizes, more Singaporeans will become caregivers, if they are not already caregivers today. Whether it is because of a sense of duty, responsibility, or love, most of us want to provide care to our loved ones. However, we often hear of stories of caregivers who are overwhelmed by their caregiving duties. Many caregivers make sacrifices to be there for their loved ones. Their social life, their life plans, and even their own self-care may suffer. Some might sacrifice their careers to spend more time with their ailing parents, and their retirement savings might take a hit.


3               But this need not be the case, as support is available in the community for caregivers. As Dr Tiong shared earlier, the caregiving journey can be a sustainable and fulfilling one. The ecosystem of support that cared for Dr Tiong’s family exists for other caregivers too. For homebound seniors, there are home care services providing custodial, medical and nursing support to enable caregivers to fulfil their loved one’s wishes to age at home. For seniors who are less frail, day care services provide social engagement with care, allowing their caregivers to continue working or take breaks from their caregiving responsibilities. Beyond care services, caregivers can empower themselves with knowledge and skills through caregiver training courses, subsidised by the Caregivers’ Training Grant, and find camaraderie with other caregivers in caregiver support groups.


4               But there is much more we can do, and I believe that we can get closer to our goal by putting our experiences and knowledge together. This is what this conference is for.


Importance of Whole-of-Society Support for Caregivers


5               Let us first understand the problem statement: why do some caregivers struggle, while others find balance? The first panel discussion will explore this through a range of perspectives, from a wider population-level view of patterns and similarities to the individual and personal experiences of our caregivers. What are the strengths of our more resilient caregivers? What are the issues weighing down our vulnerable caregivers? How do caregivers seek help, and what sort of support do they desire? While we listen and learn from our panel experts, let us ponder on this together.


6               After learning more about our caregivers, we must also know how to best support them so that they can maintain a sustainable caregiving journey. Our social service and care professionals face the difficult challenge of crafting interventions for many, while still addressing the unique circumstances of each caregiver. In the second panel discussion, the panellists will explore different ways the community can come together to support the varied needs of caregivers. What has worked well so far, and how do we scale up effective interventions? How do we involve the wider community in building a sustainable caregiving ecosystem, so that the caregiving responsibility does not fall on care professionals alone? These are the questions we should endeavour to answer.




7               This conference is an important step towards our shared vision of a supportive and sustainable caregiving community. Although this conference will only last a day, I am sure the conversations you will have here will continue into the weeks and months to come. The relationships you forge today will serve as catalysts for future collaboration and innovation. Together, we can enable our caregivers to have joyful and sustainable journeys.


8               I wish you all a fruitful and engaging session.


Thank you very much.

Category: Speeches Highlights