This article was originally published on Workers of Singapore.
Anyone who speaks with Care Professional (CP) Manoy Rishdawatty Harris would be able to attest to the sheer amount of passion and enthusiasm she has when speaking on the topic of caregiving. What is surprising is that she is only just shy of 3 months in this industry – having previously worked a desk-bound job in the office for over 14 years. At one point, she felt that an administrative role was no longer for her and applied when she happened to see an advertisement on the Homage website.
Homage is one of the leading care services providers in Singapore with various holistic home and community-based caregiving for seniors and adults; and CP Manoy currently freelances with them, clocking an average of 3-4 hours daily. Although she hasn’t been working for Homage for that long, she has already done 35 visits and over 50 hours of care service providing, where she typically travels to the homes of the elderly. She has also cared for elderly who have had illnesses such as thyroid disorder, diabetes, pneumonia etc.
She professes how much she loves meeting the elderly, as they often remind her of her own father, who she lovingly cared for before he passed away. She treats many of them like her own parents and even goes above and beyond to bring them small gifts such as breakfast and fruits. These little surprises go a long way in bringing them some joy and making them smile. She elaborates on what type of personality she feels would suit caregiving, emphasising that it’s good for caregivers to be jovial, friendly and open. As the elderly will tend to share their problems with their caregivers, it’s important to be able to listen to their problems, understand how they feel and also try to help them.
Although CP Manoy is very happy with the work that she is doing, it certainly comes with its challenges. She shared that she was initially a bit worried when at her job interview, the interviewer shared about the job scope including changing soiled diapers for the elderly and sponging them. She even encountered instances where the elderly, some of whom are persons with dementia, can sometimes have aggressive behaviour. In these moments, CP Manoy has had to remind herself to remain calm and composed while she engages with them patiently. And yet, she takes it in her stride, acknowledging that in her line of work, she would have both her share of good and challenging experiences.
She voiced her support for the recent White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development which called for more recognition and support for caregivers and their contributions. She feels that with the ageing population in Singapore, there would be more elderly who require such services and in turn, need more support from the Government. CP Manoy is also glad that her role gives her the flexibility as a working mum to balance her work as well as family life.
She also shared 3 tips on how caregivers can work better to establish rapport with the elderly by:
- Being patient with them
- Being open with them and by putting yourself in their shoes
- Truly understand their needs and sickness and how caregivers can help them as the type of caregiving services needed differ from person to person
We applaud all caregivers for their tireless work so that the elderly can age and recover with grace and dignity. If being a professional caregiver is something you want to consider, you can check out Homage’s careers page.
This article is authored by Workers of Singapore, a community site which welcomes contributions relevant to workers of Singapore.