A 34-year-old Filipina domestic carer’s experiences in overcoming feelings of powerlessness when she was first assigned to look after her elderly employer were shared during a Singapore press event on Monday.

On October 1, the Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Skills Training (FAST) announced their FDW Caregiver Support Helpline), which is dedicated to providing support to foreign domestic carers, the Lianhe Zaobao (Singapore) reported.

Recognizing that looking after elderly or chronically ill patients can be extremely demanding, the association offers multiple means of gaining assistance. Through the helpline, carers can source support group sessions, counselling, workshops, seminars on handling stress and managing mental health by simply dialing the helpline number.

Mae, a 34-year-old woman from the Philippines, has been caring for her wheelchair-bound employer for nearly seven years.

At first, she was overwhelmed by her employer’s unstable and negative emotional state that resulted from losing the ability to walk. Mae recalled that she became exhausted, both physically and mentally, by the demands of caring for her patient.

The association learned of Mae’s difficulties, and recommended that she take a 30-hour training program. The training equipped her with skills and knowledge to provide professional nursing or housekeeping care to elderly patients.

Mae, who undertook the course in her spare time, now understands that communication is the key to success.

By way of an example, the Filipina explained that, before moving her patient from bed to wheelchair, she would first carefully explain the sequence of the move. Armed with this knowledge, the patient became more assured and able to cooperate.

Caregiver Support Helpline: 1800-339-2273 (or 1800 FDW CARE)