The role of a caregiver is not one many expect to play. But preparing for it now may be one of the best life decisions you’ll ever make.
As we live longer lives, a growing number of these years are likely to be in poor health from ageing-related illnesses. By 2030, over 100,000 Singaporeans beyond the age of 60 will be living with dementia1, almost double that in 2018. It’s unavoidable – most of us will assume caregiving responsibilities for our parents at some point in the future. But you can stay on top of things, by knowing early what life changes to expect.
As a caregiver, you take on multiple roles. At any time, you may have to act as a consultant, lawyer, nurse or even chauffeur. Happy, healthy caregivers do not underestimate the demands of long-term care for a loved one with a chronic condition. It’s natural that life will change in a few ways:
A stroke or illness like severe dementia can cause our parent’s cognitive decline and loss of general abilities. They’ll need help with daily activities like dressing, feeding and bathing. The 24-7 care and attention needed is hugely challenging. It’ll change your priorities and lifestyle. Work, leisure and personal life will take a backseat as you’ll want to provide the best possible care. It’s normal to take time to adjust.
In fact, more Singaporeans are choosing to sign up for caregiving courses well before the need arises. They are choosing to be empowered with the necessary skills and mindset if and when the time comes.
Your Overall Well-being
Self-care is as vital as caring for your parent, if not more so. Effective caregivers know they need all forms of support (financial, social, even spiritual) to prevent burnout. Illnesses like dementia will bring about changes in your parent’s cognition, ability, moods and personality. This all adds to the long-term physical, emotional and mental stress. You’ll need all the help you can get, especially if you’re a sole caregiver. Caregiving is a marathon, not a sprint.
Planning early for caregiving can give you more. More resources to provide the best care. More room to breathe. More precious time together. When you’re busy focusing on what your loved one needs, money worries should be the last thing on your mind.
1. Talk To Your Parents
Is there a high risk of some illnesses in your family history? Do your parents have insurance? Do their plans cover those illnesses? Are their CPF/MediSave savings enough? What are their preferences if the need arises? Do they prefer to be cared for at home?
2. Cover Yourself First
If work takes a backseat, being well-covered can give you the financial strength and ability to care full-time for your parents.
3. Get Familiar
Why not start reading up on caregiving
or take a course
? You’ll be better prepared and confident if the time comes. Otherwise, you can be a powerful source of empathy and support for a loved one who’s a caregiver.
Your financial representative will recommend the most suitable products (not limited to the list above) based on your unique situation and needs.
The above is for your information only and does not have regard to the specific invesment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any persons.
This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.
This policy is protected under the Policy Owners’ Protection Scheme which is administered by the Singapore Deposit Insurance Corporation (SDIC). Coverage for your policy is automatic and no further action is required from you. For more information on the types of benefits that are covered under the scheme as well as the limits of coverage, where applicable, please contact us or visit the Life Insurance Association (LIA) or SDIC websites (www.lia.org.sg or www.sdic.org.sg).