By Lim Yeng Peng
COVID-19 impacts all ages, but the group most at risk are our older people, who suffered the highest rate of severe disease and death worldwide. In Singapore, the nation has done well in protecting our older people.
But the Foundation found a dire need to continue our advocacy work, especially for older people and caregivers who were struggling due to the pandemic. In 2020, we collaborated with our community partners to deliver two webinars focusing on (1) Caregiving in the Times of COVID-19, and (2) Safety VS Sanity: The Impact of Staying at Home, on 9 September and 30 September respectively. Both webinars were well attended by more about 550 local and global attendees in total.
The panellists from Caregiving in the Times of COVID-19 shared their observations from the pandemic on caregiving and urged all to be informed caregivers, especially on the resources and support available and where to get them, to stay connected or improve their social connection through technology and to focus on their self-care.
Ms Corinna Lim, Executive Director of AWARE conducting an online poll during the 9 September webinar
The panellists from Safety VS Sanity: The Impact of Staying at Home talked about their concerns on the biopsychosocial vulnerabilities of elders and urged everyone to help keep their elders socially connected and engaged. Madam Ratnam Periosamy, a retired teacher and panellist, had this to share, “The one thing I’m asking everyone is – please spend quality time talking to the seniors in the house… Talk to them at least once a day and for at least 10 mins. That’s what they want, and I hope everyone will do that. Thank you very much.”
Separately on 2 December, the Foundation’s Intellectual Disability Service organised a webinar on Living with Intellectual Disability in the Community for industry practitioners and service providers. This webinar kicked off a learning journey entitled Our Health, Our Lives, Our Stories that will take place over the next couple of years, aiming to bring together health, disability and social service providers, governmental and non-governmental agencies, as well as any other organisations who may have an interest in contributing to people with intellectual disabilities (PwIDs). The webinar was graced by Guest-of-Honour, Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for Social and Family Development.
“We are all here today because we believe that we have a part to play to improve the quality of life and support for PwIDs and their families. In better appreciating their needs, we can inspire a collective approach to provide more seamless, integrated services for them – as they journey through life and transition across services. Let us continue to build a stronger and more collaborative network of practitioners and expand our knowledge to support them. As we build a more caring and inclusive society together.” - Guest-of-Honour and Minister for Social and Family Development, Mr Masagos Zulkifli
A group photo with the GOH of the webinar
To access a recording of this webinar, go to https://our-health-our-lives-our-stories.heysummit.com/replay/