Are you a professional caregiver looking to improve your skills to better serve the people you care for? Or are you a family caregiver looking to better care for your loved one?
Thankfully, with the rise in demand for caregiving help in Singapore, there are a large variety of courses available for caregiving, offered by various institutions. We have compiled some affordable caregiver training courses available in Singapore that you can consider below.
What is a professional caregiver?
A professional caregiver is someone who is hired to provide care for someone who is unable to care for himself or herself due to illness, disability, or mental health conditions. Caregivers aim to help the individual they are caring for to live as independently as possible. This can be done by assisting with activities of daily living such as toileting or showering, or even providing help around the house such as cooking meals or cleaning.
Some professional caregivers are specialised in certain conditions, such as in dementia, autism, cerebral palsy, and diabetes. These conditions may have medical or behavioural complexities which require more than just the basic skill set to handle with them. For example, someone with autism may experience meltdowns due to difficulties with sensory input. The caregiver will need to know how to read the signs of an impending meltdown, or to also figure out triggers and manage them accordingly, e.g. if the individual is very sensitive to clothing tags, the caregiver must know to cut them off or help to prepare clothes without clothing tags.
Benefits of being a professional caregiver
- Room for professional growth in this sector: There has been a steady rise in demand for caregiving support professionals, with greater public education on the importance of professional care for the elderly, as a Channel NewsAsia article notes. Being a caregiver means you have to be strong in both soft and hard skills – essentially, you will need to learn to communicate effectively, provide emotional support and empathy, and be able to do the physical aspects required of the job such as doing a bed transfer or help an individual who has limited mobility with showering and dressing. Caregiving can also be a good stepping stone to consider further healthcare specialisations, such as occupational therapy, physiotherapy, nursing, or seeking out more specific caregiving courses for different conditions.
- High job satisfaction: Caregiving is a special role, as you get to touch the life of others in an intimate and meaningful way. Few other jobs out there can provide such an experience in getting to know your client so personally, and this job usually attracts people who are driven with a mission to help others. Helping others and making oneself useful by providing care remain sources of satisfaction for professional caregivers, as an article states. Professional caregivers often find a lot of personal growth in this career as well, as they learn from all the different people they mingle and share moments with.
- Flexible schedule: As a professional caregiver, the good news is there are various places which allow for flexibility in work schedules. Some individuals may not require round-the-clock care, hence creating a demand for part-time caregiving arrangements. A freelance caregiver role may be what you are looking for if you are looking for flexibility in your schedule. Homage offers freelance and part-time caregiver roles that will allow you to control your working hours and work as little or as much as you’d like without any minimum commitment.
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Why should you attend caregiver training?
- Keeping up to the standard of quality care: Many caregiver training programmes teach important techniques and useful tips to assist you in your caregiver journey, ensuring you will be able to create a comfortable environment for both your care recipient and yourself. This ensures a good standard of care for the care recipient, and families can be well assured when entrusting their loved ones into your care. Moreover, continuous learning can ensure that you are confident with the latest best practices to help these care recipients.
- To attain more specialised skills: Some care recipients may have conditions like Alzheimer’s, which may be beyond the basic scope of daily caregiving duties and require knowledge of the condition. Families would be reassured to hire someone who has had experience or qualifications in specific areas, and this could become a selling point of your services as a caregiver. It may be ideal to consider taking some courses for specialised skills if possible, to expand your scope of available work.
- To prepare yourself best for dealing when situations get tough: A caregiving job is a job which can get emotional at times especially when caring for someone with a severe medical diagnosis or at the end-of-life stage. Proper training can help you cope better with such situations, and enable you to help the families of these care recipients in their times of need. Training on bedside manners or communicating about death and illnesses, which have to be communicated delicately and empathetically, can be a great help for some of these care recipients and their loved ones.
- To remind yourself of the reason you are in this line: Training acts as a constant reminder of why you do what you do. Sometimes, the journey can be tough and draining, and can wear you out mentally and physically. Taking a course from time to time not only gives a break from the usual pace of life, but also helps to give a refreshed perspective on the job itself.
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Affordable caregiver courses in Singapore
Below are some caregiver courses in Singapore, ranging from basic to those which focus on specific illnesses like dementia. If you are keen to upgrade from a caregiver to a nurse with professional medical knowledge, you can explore your educational options here.
Do note that if you are not a professional caregiver, but a caregiver for a loved one at home, you may be eligible for the Agency for Integrated Care’s (AIC) Caregiver Training Grant (CTG).
Provider: Agency for Integrated Care (AIC)
Description: This course covers all essential skills needed for caregiving for daily needs. You can choose from 3 sets of courses depending on the type of profile you would like to work with:
- Set A: For caring for seniors who are ambulant
- Set B: For caring for seniors who are bedbound
- Set C: For caring for seniors using a wheelchair
Cost (without subsidies): $135 – $200 for each set (those who qualify for the Caregivers Training Grant may use the grant to offset up to $200 of the course fees.)
Provider: Jamiyah Nursing Home
Description: This course is catered for caregivers of care recipients who have physical disabilities. It aims to share skills for caring for the Activities of Daily Living of such care recipients. It also will teach some therapeutic exercises and activities which the caregiver can do with the care recipient to aid them in performing their functional activities safely.
Cost (without subsidies): $140
Provider: N2 Hub Pte Ltd
Description: This is an advanced caregiver course which aims to equip caregivers with the knowledge and skills on caring for people with diabetes.
Important course aims are for caregivers to understand diabetes, handle diabetic emergencies, and perform home blood glucose monitor and insulin injections.
Cost (without subsidies): $200
Provider: The Salvation Army Peacehaven
Description: This course aims to train caregivers with the knowledge necessary to provide person-centered care to persons caring and living with individuals with Dementia in a home setting.
Course objects are to give participants an understanding of dementia, the impact of the disease, and managing behaviours of persons with Dementia.
Cost (without subsidies): $224.70
Provider: Singapore Caregiver Training & Consultancy
Description: This course aims to train newly minted caregivers in caring for care recipients. There are five modules:
- Module 1 (M1): AED: Accidents & Emergencies Care for the Elderly & Disability (with CPR + AED Training)
- Module 2 (M2): Personal Hygiene & Grooming
- Module 3 (M3): Pressure Ulcer Care
- Module 4 (M4): Transferring, Lifting & Moving Techniques with or without Equipment
- Module 5 (M5): Support Care Recipients to meet their needs & Basic Medication Management
Cost (without subsidies): $660 (eligible for Caregiver Training Course Rebate issued by Singapore Caregiver and Training Consultancy, which allows for 50% off course fees – must meet eligibility criteria)
Homage’s caregiver resources
If you currently do not have the time or capacity to go for a caregiver training course, you may read up on some useful resources that can help you be a better caregiver during your free time. Here are some resources to get you started.
Other useful resources for professional caregivers
- Agency for Integrated Care (AIC): Besides courses and training, AIC has some information pages on caring, such as in the basics of caregiving, activities of daily living, and body mechanics. They even have care tips for the caregiver, such as how to avoid burnout. You can find them here.
- SG Enable: SG Enable has set up a helpful page for caregivers of all walks and profiles. You can find information on resources available to caregivers at each step of the journey, and also links to external agencies for caregiver support, or even on hospital support services.
- GatherHere: GatherHere is an online community started by Social Service Institute (SSI) with the vision of empowering everyone to live with dignity. With GatherHere, people in the social services sector, such as caregivers, can join the various community groups to find out about the latest trends, join topics of interest, and stay connected to other like-minded individuals in the same line as well. You could possibly find someone to share thoughts or tips with on caregiving on GatherHere!
- Caregiver’s Alliance: A non-profit organisation dedicated to supporting caregivers caring for others, Caregivers Alliance Limited (CAL) has various online resources and events exclusively for caregivers.
- TOUCH Community Services: TOUCH Community Services has set up a TOUCH Caregivers Support (TCG) group, which helps caregivers cope with the challenges of providing care to their loved ones. TCH provides a range of support services, including a helpline, caregivers training, and home modifications and home care services. Caregivers can also opt into TCG’s “Caregivers for Elderly” Facebook page, a safe online Facebook platform for the caregiver community in Singapore to provide peer support and exchange information.
Interested in being a professional caregiver?
If you find that you would love to make a meaningful impact to the lives of others, while earning an income at the same time, being a professional caregiver could be a good career to explore.
You can expect to earn up to $19 per hour as a non-medical professional caregiver with Homage, on top of added incentives that can go up to $20 per visit.
On top of that, as a freelance caregiver, you are able to control your working hours, which means you can work as much or as little as your schedule allows.
- 5 Benefits of Being a Professional Caregiver. (2022, May 26). Guideposts. https://www.guideposts.org/caregiving/resource-center/5-benefits-of-being-a-professional-caregiver
- Agency for Integrated Care. (n.d.). Roles Of A Caregiver | Agency for Integrated Care. https://www.aic.sg/caregiving/caregiver-role
- Caregiver Training and Caregiver Education (Singapore). (n.d.). HealthHub. https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/support-groups-and-others/11/caregiver-training
- Doyle, L. (2021, May 20). Why every senior caregiver should consider professional training. Care.Com Resources. https://www.care.com/c/senior-caregiver-professional-training/
- Homage. (2022, April 29). How to be a Professional Caregiver in Singapore (No Experience Needed!). https://www.homage.sg/resources/professional-caregiver-singapore/
- Michon F, Amiot C, Palvadeau C, Chrétien MC, Bécu AV. Le plaisir au travail pour des soignants épanouis [Job satisfaction for fulfilled caregivers]. Soins. 2014 Nov;(790):42-4. French. PMID: 25619098.
- Reddy, M. (2021, October 19). Professional Caregiver for Older Adults – Part I: Responsibilities. CareAcademy. https://careacademy.com/blog/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-professional-caregiver-of-elders-part-i-responsibilities/