It is estimated that around half of Singapore’s population will be aged 65 and older by the year 2050. With Singapore’s rapidly ageing population, having caregivers to support senior citizens will become increasingly important. However, it can be difficult to know how to take care of an older family member or relatives with special needs.
Do you have an elderly loved one and want to learn how to best support them? Is there a family member whose special needs you want to care for, but have no idea where to start? The Caregivers Training Grant can help you access the resources you need to equip yourself with the right skills to best support your loved ones.
What is the Caregivers Training Grant?
Under the Caregivers Training Grant, or CTG for short, $200 will be provided for the caregivers to enrol in training courses of their choice. The money will be used to subsidise the cost of attending these courses.
You can choose from a list of courses that have been approved by the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC) that focus on developing skills to care for those with special needs. If there are several caregivers looking after the same person who wish to use the grant, the $200 will have to be divided among them. Applicants for the grant will need to make a co-payment of at least $10 depending on the course they take.
The grant can be claimed any time within one financial year. For example, if you apply for the CTG for the year 2021, you can use the $200 any time from April 2021 to March 2022. If you have not spent all the $200, the remainder will not be carried over to the next year.
As the grant is tied to the care recipient, the same amount of money will be given out regardless of the number of caregivers. For example, if there are three caregivers for Madam Lim, the amount given will still be $200 and not $600.
What are the benefits of the Caregivers Training Grant?
Sometimes we may feel that we cannot take care of our loved ones on our own and need to entrust them with a nursing home or another healthcare institution. It can be difficult to know where to find resources to learn how to support them, or to find institutions that can care for them. With the CTG, you can equip yourself or those around you with the skills and knowledge to best care for your loved one at home.
Paying for courses or external care can also be costly for some families. The money provided by the CTG can help to relieve the financial burden of training to enable you to take the care of your loved ones into your own hands.
The resources provided by the CTG can also help you to understand more about the condition(s) that your loved one has. People with conditions like autism or dementia may behave in ways that we do not understand. The approved courses can give us more detailed information about our loved one’s conditions as well as how to help them during emergencies and in day-to-day life. Some courses also teach caregivers how to manage their stress levels.
Understanding our loved one’s condition is an important step in giving us peace of mind as we become less uncertain about their needs. Being equipped with not just skills but appropriate knowledge lets us care for our loved ones more effectively.
Who is eligible for the Caregivers Training Grant?
To be eligible for the Caregivers Training Grant, the follow criteria must be met:
- The care recipient must be a Singaporean Citizen (SC) or Permanent Resident (PR)
- The care recipient must be aged at least 65 years old, OR be certified to have a disability by a doctor
- The caregiver must be the main caregiver (immediate family member/foreign domestic worker) looking after the care recipient
- The caregiver must complete any of the CTG-approved training courses and receive a certificate of attendance if there is one
Do take note that foreign domestic workers are also eligible for the CTG as long as the person they are caring for is a Singapore Citizen or Permanent Resident and meets the other requirements stated above. Some courses provide Bahasa Indonesia and Burmese translation so that foreign domestic workers who speak those languages can also participate in the course.
What courses can I attend under the Caregivers Training Grant?
The courses that you can attend using the CTG can be found on the AIC website. You can see the list of available courses on the AIC e-calendar.
Some courses are class-based, meaning that they are taught in a group classroom setting, while others are home-based. The home-based courses can be taken online through a computer or other electronic device. The courses are also held in different languages like Mandarin Chinese, Malay, Bahasa Indonesia, and Burmese to cater to speakers of different languages.
Below are some courses which we can recommend for caregivers looking to gain new skills under the CTG. All these courses cost $200 or less so the basic course fees will be fully subsidised under the CTG grant. Details about other training courses can be found in the AIC courses e-calendar.
1. Advanced Caregiver Course on Diabetes Mellitus Management ($200)
Diabetes is a condition that affects many Singaporeans. According to the Ministry of Health, around 440,000 Singaporeans aged 18 and above were diagnosed with diabetes in 2014. That number is expected to increase to 1 million by 2050. Diabetes happens when our bodies are not sensitive to insulin and have higher blood sugar levels than normal. It can also increase the risk of other diseases like heart disease and stroke.
This course by N2 Hub Training Academy covers content on different aspects of diabetes. Examples include what the different major types of diabetes are, what the complications of diabetes might be, and how to carry out simple procedures like insulin injections and home blood glucose monitoring.
Caregivers can also learn about foot hygiene and nail care for people with diabetes. Foot care is especially important as nerve damage in the hands or feet is more common in people with diabetes, and calluses or wounds on the feet can easily lead to infection. This course can thus help you to understand this little-known yet important part of diabetes management.
2. Basic Nursing Course for Caregiver ($140 for classroom-based, $200 for home-based)
In the Basic Nursing Course by 1.Care Employment Agency, caregivers can learn how to perform day-to-day care of senior citizens and manage their behaviours. They can also learn how to manage caregiver stress and self-expectations, which is important given the stress that caring for a loved one can place on caregivers.
Content covered under the modules in this course include fall prevention, feeding techniques and diaper changing. A module is included that focuses on special procedures like managing catheters and stoma bags, caring for pressure sores and how to perform tube feeding.
The course is taught in many different languages including Bahasa Indonesia, Burmese, Cantonese, Hokkien and Khek (the Hakka dialect). Foreign domestic workers and older caregivers who are more comfortable with Chinese dialects can feel at ease taking the course in their preferred language. There are class-based and home-based versions of these courses so you can choose how you want to take the course.
3. Being Dementia Aware ($140)
Dementia is a condition where brain function begins to decrease in older people. This can affect various areas like memory, language, and judgement.
The difficulty senior citizens with dementia face with everyday tasks may be a cause of worry for caregivers. For example, caregivers of family members with dementia may be worried about their loved ones getting lost when they do not remember how to go home. These concerns can lead to stress and anxiety in the caregiver.
This course by Jamiyah Nursing Home will teach caregivers how to recognise different types of behaviour in people with dementia like wandering, aggression and paranoia. Caregivers will also learn about person-centred approaches to caregiving that can help them value those with dementia and treat them as individuals. This will help caregivers create an emotionally healthy environment for themselves and their loved ones.
How can I apply for the Caregivers Training Grant?
You can download the application form online. Alternatively, you can receive a copy of the form from the instructor of the course that you choose to attend. Your instructor will turn in the application form for you. It is recommended that you submit the application form at least two weeks before the start of your training course.
No one should have to struggle on their own to support someone they care about. Homage can provide you with additional support to care for loved ones with special needs. Our Care Professionals are trained to manage different conditions like dementia and Parkinson’s disease. They can also relieve the burden on caregivers for palliative care, allowing you to rest at ease while they take on the duties. Often, you can also pick up some caregiving techniques and tips informally from our Care Professionals.
If you need additional financial support, the government has a slew of grants and subsidies available for caregivers and the elderly so that no one is left behind.
Whether it is in helping you find resources to grow or providing support with immediate care, count on us at Homage to give your loved ones the care they deserve.
- Caregiver Training Course | Agency for Integrated Care. (n.d.). Agency of Integrated Care Pte Ltd. Retrieved February 21, 2021, from https://www.aic.sg/caregiving/caregiver-training-course
- Caregivers Training Grant (CTG). (n.d.). Agency for Integrated Care Pte Ltd. Retrieved February 21, 2021, from https://www.aic.sg/financial-assistance/caregivers-training-grant
- Diabetes and Your Feet. (2019, December 4). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/library/features/healthy-feet.html
- Diabetes in Singapore. (n.d.). HealthHub. Retrieved February 21, 2021, from https://www.healthhub.sg/a-z/diseases-and-conditions/626/diabetes#:%7E:text=Diabetes%20is%20a%20worldwide%20epidemic,grow%20to%201%2C000%2C000%20in%202050.
- Siau, M.E. (2017, December 6). Elderly to make up almost half of S’pore population by 2050: United Nations. TODAYonline. https://www.todayonline.com/singapore/elderly-make-almost-half-spore-population-2050-united-nations