To older people, home-care and social services are key to independent living ("S'pore lacks after-hours care for the elderly: Gan"; Monday).
As our average lifespan increases, and as more of us grow older, the link between housing and health becomes increasingly crucial.
Thus, it is heartening to learn that there are plans to have medical institutions located near apartments for the elderly, who will also have easy access to social support and better care.
To ensure that the elderly continue to live fulfilling lives, support services such as housekeeping, transport, and social and recreational activities can be provided as well.
While these amenities and services can be made available, one important aspect that is equally critical is caregiving, and it is reassuring that caregivers will get government support, such as guidance on how to tend to the old and frail.
Many people have little understanding of what caregiving entails; they are unprepared for what happens when things turn out the way they least expected.
Caregivers experience emotional, physical and economic stress; they often have no one to advise them on how to cope or perform their duties better.
Alas, it does not help when they themselves have physical ailments that may be aggravated by their duties as caregivers.
Besides equipping family caregivers with guidance and training, it is equally important that short-term institutional care be provided to give them temporary relief, as they may need a vacation or medical care themselves.
Above all, the well-being of a caregiver is as paramount as that of the one being cared for.
Jeffrey Law Lee Beng, Reader
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