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Distinguished Speakers, 

Care Professionals, Caregivers, Partners, Ladies and Gentlemen,

A very good morning to all of you. It is my pleasure to be invited to say a few words at the inaugural National CARE Conference. 

Introduction to National CARE Conference

2. Caring for Persons with Disabilities, seniors or persons with mental health conditions is not easy. It requires time, and a substantial amount of physical, mental and emotional energy. In 2030, one in four Singaporeans will be 65 years and above. Family sizes are shrinking and we have a growing group of sandwiched caregivers. The burden of caregiving will likely increase, and support from care professionals and fellow caregivers like yourselves will become increasingly important. 

3. The complexities of caregiving call for all of us to work together to create an integrated ecosystem of support for caregivers and their loved ones. I am proud that the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC), CaringSG, National Council of Social Service (NCSS), and SG Enable have come together to organise a series of events on caregiving, with this conference marking the beginning of a very exciting month for caregivers. 

4. Themed “Coming Together to Build a Strong Caregiving Community”, today’s conference will focus on how a family-centric approach can be taken toward caregiving and the role of family caregivers. 

Appreciating our caregivers

5. Caregiving is not and should not be a solitary journey. Instead, we want caregivers to have access to a network of support across individuals, communities, and the government.

6. Mr Loh Siew Tong is one caregiver who has benefitted from such an arrangement. Mr Loh is a primary caregiver to both his wife who has Parkinson’s Disease and his brother who has dementia. Mr Loh’s caregiving journey began in 2019 when Mrs Loh had a fall and became reliant on Mr Loh. Subsequently, Mr Loh’s caregiving responsibilities grew when both his wife and brother fell ill. Faced with increasing caregiving challenges, Mr Loh felt helpless and overwhelmed, and very much alone. That is until he joined the caregiver support group under Montfort Care – Goodlife who helped him learn about the different types of dementia, the experiences of fellow caregivers and tips on self-care. These exchanges made him realise that he was not alone. The network of caregivers brought him comfort and strength to continue on his caregiving journey. 

7. I am heartened that care professionals and agencies are committed to enhancing such partnerships. Today, I will speak about two areas of work that the Ministry of Health (MOH) and our partners have been jointly working on, to ease the process for caregivers to seek support, help caregivers gain skills, and recognise their contributions. 

Caregiver Support Initiatives

Care Navigation and Resources

8. First, we have been working to improve the process of seeking help and accessing information. Unfortunately, caregivers may not always know of all the available support they could get, especially with much on their plate.

9. We thus need to make it easier for caregivers to know where they could go to receive “just in time” support. Caregivers could refer to the Caregiving Learning Guidebook for knowledge and skills in caring for  seniors, persons with mental health conditions and persons with disabilities. SG Enable has also launched a Caregiver Learning Roadmap on their Enabling Guide website, which would equip caregivers of persons with disabilities with more tailored information and resources that they need for different caregiving stages. Both AIC and SG Enable have also developed a series of bite-sized infographics and videos for caregivers. We will continue to study how to scale up support for caregivers to navigate and access caregiving resources with greater ease. 

Shining a spotlight on caregivers’ contributions

10. Next, we have been looking at better recognising caregivers’ contributions and supporting them to identify with their own caregiver identity. To this end, AIC launched the “We See You Care” caregiving campaign earlier this year. This caregiving campaign aims to establish AIC as the one-stop front for caregiving information and aims to appreciate caregivers in our midst.

11. Beyond this campaign, we can also look forward to the upcoming CAREcarnivals that will take place over the next three weekends in different parts of Singapore. They will feature talks, booths on caregiving resources, and provide a platform for networking and mutual support amongst caregivers.  

Encouragement for attendees’ active participation 

12. To our caregivers, your voice matters. I hope that those present today could speak up and advocate for all caregivers. To our care professionals, thank you for your commitment and support, which have allowed our caregivers to take a well-deserved break. Beyond providing client-centric support, let us also consider what caregiver-centric support could look like, and not leave any caregivers behind.


13. Beyond the events happening this month, let’s continue working together to support caregivers in our own circles of influence. I wish everyone a fruitful session at today’s CARE Conference! 
Thank you.

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