Non-profit organisation continues to support caregivers
Two weeks into the circuit breaker, Ms Nadia Daeng found herself in bed crying from the stress of being her 75-year-old mother's primary caregiver.
The older woman suffered a stroke last October.
Ms Daeng, a 37-year-old marketing professional, started to worry even more about her mother's deteriorating mobility, especially after the senior care centre the latter attended for physiotherapy sessions closed as part of the circuit breaker measures.
Ms Daeng told The New Paper: "On any normal day, caregivers already feel quite alone. (During the circuit breaker), I have been feeling helpless, tired, frustrated and depressed. Without my brothers' support, I would have had a mental breakdown."
She also managed to find support among other caregivers through non-profit organisation Caregivers Alliance Limited (CAL).
After being diagnosed with depression in 2016, she used its support services and credits CAL for helping her deal with her condition.
While CAL has suspended all face-to-face activities and withdrawn its staff from its Caregivers Support Centre at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), it is still reaching out to caregivers through its helplines and online classes.
A 60-year-old retiree, who wanted to be known only as Ms Linda, has been caring for her 25-year-old son since he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in 2016.
While his condition is stable, the biggest issue she is facing during the circuit breaker is that he cannot relieve stress and anxiety by going for his usual walks and long bus rides whenever he feels like it.
"When he gets restless at home, he's not able to control his emotions or sleep as well," she said.
She first attended one of CAL's Caregiver-2-Caregiver (C2C) classes after her son was re-admitted to IMH for a relapse three years ago, and is now a volunteer trainer.
CAL hopes to spread the message to caregivers that they are not alone and help is always available during this difficult time.
Its spokesman said: "When caregivers join CAL, they will find friends and support groups to journey with them."