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NCSS Study Yield Insights for Social Service Sector to Enhance Caregiver Support

02 Aug 2022

 

MEDIA RELEASE

[For Immediate Release]

 

NCSS STUDY YIELD INSIGHTS FOR SOCIAL SERVICE SECTOR TO ENHANCE CAREGIVER SUPPORT

2 August 2022, Singapore – The 2018 Quality of Life (QOL) of Caregivers Study has resulted in the launch of several caregiving pilots in collaboration with community partners. The study reaffirmed that caregivers took pride in caring for their loved ones and understood the importance of their role. Caregivers also need a stronger support ecosystem to relieve some of their caregiving burdens and help them provide care more sustainably.

2            The 2018 NCSS Quality of Life of Caregivers study investigated factors that affected caregivers’ quality of life and how these needs could be addressed. This was designed based on the World Health Organisation Quality of Life (WHOQOL) framework. The study surveyed 4,513 Singapore resident caregivers aged 21 and above who were caring for loved ones with disabilities, mental health conditions or chronic illnesses. This is the first time a Quality of Life study of such scale, with a diverse representation of caregivers, has been done in Singapore

3            Key findings from the study include:

●       More than one in two of caregivers report they are "burdened" or "barely coping"[1] and have a lower belief in their ability to control their life.[2]

●       Caregiver who received help in caring for their loved ones reported higher overall quality of life scores.

●       Almost two in five had provided care to their loved ones alone, with the lack of availability of other helpers being commonly cited as the reason.

●       Fewer than three in 10 caregivers used caregiver services[3]. For those who used caregiver services, they rated most services, especially caregiver-related training programmes, respite care and support groups, as useful.

 

Strengthening Service Integration to Improve Caregiver Well-Being

4        To bring help closer to caregivers, NCSS teamed up with Montfort Care in 2019 to launch the Caregiver Community Lab[4] to support caregivers in Radin Mas, and expanded the coverage to Tanjong Pagar in 2021. A Caregiver Resource Map was developed to ease navigation of local community services. In addition, the Caregiver Hotline was piloted to improve access to useful resources, and the Caregivers Recharge! Initiative was piloted to connect caregivers to a support network of fellow caregivers through recreational activities.

5        NCSS is also working closely with community partners and other agencies including Caregivers Alliance Limited, People’s Association and SG Enable to improve caregivers’ well-being and enhance their capabilities.  This is done through caregiver training which empowers them with skills and coping strategies, as well as enhancing support by harnessing peer support and informal support networks. Current initiatives include the WIN Caregivers Network and Project 3i. 

6            Ms Tan Li San, Chief Executive, NCSS said: “Caregiver support is one of the key service priorities of NCSS. Understanding the challenges our caregivers face will help us to improve our system of support for them. These findings have informed, and will continue to guide, ongoing caregiver support efforts that we are implementing together with community partners. This also complements wider efforts by the Government including the White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development, and President’s Challenge focus on caring for caregivers in 2023.

7            Almost all of us have been, or will be, caregivers at some point in our lives. Supporting caregivers is a joint effort by the community and each of us as family members have a part to play. Especially in this Year of Celebrating SG Families, I encourage friends and family members of caregivers to check in on them, support them where possible and link them up to caregiving resources.”

8          In addition, the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) administers the Home Caregiving Grant (HCG), which provides monthly payouts to defray caregiving costs for eligible individuals with at least permanent moderate disability. As announced in the White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development, the Ministry of Health will enhance the HCG in 2023 to recognise caregivers’ contributions and further reduce the financial strain of caregiving, with more targeted support provided to lower-income families. The White Paper also outlines further plans by the Government and the community to further recognise and empower caregivers.

9            Commenting on the findings of the Study, Mr Tan Kwang Cheak, Chief Executive Officer, AIC, said, “The Quality of Life of Caregivers study has clearly identified caregiving areas and opportunities for AIC, NCSS and other partners to co-create solutions to support caregivers, especially in the areas of self-care and peer support. Such efforts will benefit strongly from a whole of community effort and focus. AIC will continue to drive awareness of available caregiving services, improve accessibility of such services, and support our caregivers through training, awareness and programmes by our partners. We will also strengthen our partnerships and collaborations with other agencies, partners and service providers to support and empower caregivers.”

10         The Quality of Life of Caregivers report can be accessed via the NCSS website at https://go.gov.sg/ncss-qolcaregivers.

 

-End-

 

For media enquiries, please contact:

 

Michelle Wong

Assistant Manager,

Communications Division

Ministry of Social and Family Development

Email: michelle_wong@msf.gov.sg

 

Alvin Ho

Senior Executive,

Communications Division

Ministry of Social and Family Development

Email: alvin_ho@msf.gov.sg

National Council of Social Service (NCSS)

NCSS is the umbrella body for over 500-member social service organisations in Singapore. Its mission is to provide leadership and direction in enhancing the capabilities and capacity of our members, advocating for social service needs and strengthening strategic partnerships, for an effective social service ecosystem. Community Chest is the fundraising and engagement arm of NCSS and Social Service Institute (SSI) is the sector capability and transformation arm of NCSS.

 

www.ncss.gov.sg

Annex A

LIST OF TRANSLATED TERMS

 

Keywords (English)

Chinese

Malay

Tamil

Quality of Life (QOL) of Caregivers

看护者的生活质量

Mutu Kehidupan Para Penjaga

பராமரிப்பாளர்களின் வாழ்க்கைத் தரம்

 

World Health Organisation Quality of Life (WHOQOL) framework

世界卫生组织生活质量框架

Rangka kerja Mutu Kehidupan Pertubuhan Kesihatan Sedunia

உலக சுகாதார நிறுவன வாழ்க்கைத் தரம் கட்டமைப்பு

SG Together Alliance for Action for Caregivers of Persons with Disabilities

新加坡群策群力行动联盟

Perikatan untuk Bertindak Singapura Bersama bagi Penjaga Orang Kurang Upaya

உடற்குறையுள்ளோரின் பராமரிப்பாளர்களுக்கான ஒன்றிணைந்த சிங்கப்பூர் செயற்கூட்டணி

AIC

护联中心

Agensi Penjagaan Bersepadu

ஒருங்கிணைந்த பராமரிப்பு நிறுவனம்

Caregiver Community Lab

关护者社区计划

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 Annex B

Available Resources

For caregiver support services, refer to the tables below:

For caregivers’ well-being and support

Adapt and Grow Initiative

Caregivers who are seeking employment may use this resource to help them return to the workforce more seamlessly.

Website: https://www.careerbuilder.com.sg/blog/budget-2020-spotlight-onenhancement-to-adapt-and-grow

Caregiver Community Outreach Teams (CREST)

This initiative provides socio-emotional support for caregivers to self-care, and links them up with support groups and counselling services where needed.

Website: https://www.fycs.org/our-work/healthcare-related/crest/

 

For caregivers of persons with disabilities

Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore (MINDS)

Hotline: 6547 8503 / 6805 1646

Email: dcmp@minds.org.sg

Website: https://www.minds.org.sg/for-caregivers/

SG Enable

Hotline: 1800 8585 885

Email: contactus@sgenable.sg

Website: www.sgenable.sg

Other resources include:

● Assistive Technology Fund: https://www.sgenable.sg/Pages/content.aspx?path=/schemes/equipment-technology-home-retrofit/assistive-technology-fund/

● Enabling Guide: https://www.enablingguide.sg

● Peer-to-Peer-Mentor Training: https://www.enablingguide.sg/caring-for-caregivers/be-a-caregivermentor


 

For caregivers of seniors

Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)

Hotline: 1800 650 6060

Email: enquiries@aic.sg

Other resources include:

● General Caregiving: https://www.aic.sg/caregiving/caregiving-brochures

● Mental Health: https://www.aic.sg/body-mind/mental-health-resources

● Caregiving Training courses: https://www.aic.sg/caregiving/caregiver-courses-schemes

● Caregivers’ Training Grant: https://www.aic.sg/financial-assistance/caregivers-training-grant

● Dementia: https://www.aic.sg/body-mind/dementia-brochures

● Eldercarer Foreign Domestic Worker Scheme: https://www.aic.sg/caregiving/eldercarer-foreign-domestic-worker-scheme

● Home Caregiving Grant: http://www.aic.sg/financial-assistance/home-caregiving-grant

● Seniors’ Mobility and Enabling Fund: http://www.aic.sg/financial-assistance/seniors-mobility-enabling-fund

Caregiving Welfare Association

Hotline: 6466 7957

Dementia Singapore

Hotline: 6377 0700

Home-based Respite Care

For caregivers of recipients with mobility issues and/or end-of-life patients receiving palliative care, services available can include the following:

● Having a nurse provide home nursing care

● Have a trained carer assist the care recipient in their daily needs

● Caregivers can receive help with tasks such as showering, dressing and feeding

TOUCH Care Line

Hotline: 6804 6555

 


 

For caregivers of persons with mental health conditions

Caregivers Alliance Limited

Hotline: 6460 4400 or 6388 2686

Other resources include the Caregivers-to-Caregivers Training Programmes (CAL): https://www.cal.org.sg/c2c

Community Intervention Teams (COMIT)

Provides assessment, counselling and psychoeducation, and partner GP and Polyclinics to provide holistic care integrating physical health, mental health, and social care services.

Website: https://www.fycs.org/our-work/healthcare-related/comit/

 

General resources

Social Service Navigator

An online platform to find social service programmes in Singapore: https://www.ncss.gov.sg/navigator

Social Service Offices

Bring social assistance closer to residents in the community who are in need, making ComCare and other forms of assistance such as job-matching and family services more accessible.

 

 


[1] Latent profile analysis (LPA) was used to identify profiles of caregivers based on participants’ responses to the Caregiver Reaction Assessment measure. LPA can help uncover the mutually exclusive and exhaustive latent profiles in a population..

[2] Belief in ability to control their life based on self-efficacy scores.

[3] Examples of caregiver services include helplines, befriending services, support groups and retreats, case management and counselling, respite care, employment-related services, caregiving-related training programmes, spiritual/religious-based support, and others (e.g., unspecified services from charities, social service agencies).

[4] For more information, please visit http://www.montfortcare.org.sg/caregiver/.