Our MPs create communities of care


Being caregiver to a loved one is a huge responsibility. But our Party acts so that it need not be a lonely one: we are building communities of care within Singapore’s neighbourhoods.  

As Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Health Rahayu Mahzam pointed out at the Home Nursing Foundation’s Creating a Sustainable Caregiving Community this past week (Oct 6) networks of help are available across the neighbourhood. 

These include day care services which supply care and social interaction while caregivers work or recharge. Home care services which provide the necessities for homebound seniors to age at home are also there for caregivers to tap upon. 

Source: Rahayu Mahzam / Facebook 

Indeed, these communities of care are important for Singaporean families now and even more so for the future. Singapore is fast becoming a super-aged society where one in five people will be at least 65 years old and susceptible to the health challenges and care needs which this life stage brings.     

At Petir.sg, we have previously covered some instances of our MPs building up communities of care. Here are some more.  

Yip Hon Weng: A dementia-friendly Yio Chu Kang 

Yio Chu Kang is Singapore’s pilot site for dementia-friendly neighbourhoods, with improvements like wayfinding murals painted onto blocks and covered drains for safer footpaths. These enhancements let people age in place, in no small part because they empower other residents to easily care for those who need it.

MP Yip Hon Weng (Yio Chu Kang SMC) is making sure that Yio Chu Kang residents get the most out of this pilot. Among other efforts, he has manned pop-up booths to get resident feedback about upcoming improvements to the neighbourhood. 

Source: Yip Hon Weng / Facebook 

He is also bringing a daycare centre for the elderly to the community. Beyond convenient respite for caregivers, this will have training workshops for them as well as an after-hours support helpline. 

These are on-point efforts for an MP who previously headed the Silver Generation Office and who regularly speaks up in Parliament on issues like instituting a Caregivers Day/ Week to recognise Singapore’s caregivers for their essential role and on enhancing formal training support for them.  

Cheryl Chan, Heng Swee Keat, Maliki Osman, Jessica Tan, Tan Kiat How: The East Coast Silver Blueprint 

Over in East Coast GRC, the East Coast Silver Blueprint is in gear. The Blueprint, launched in September 2020, was much-needed help during the height of the pandemic.    

With it, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and his fellow East Coast GRC MPs Cheryl Chan, Maliki Osman, Jessica Tan and Tan Kiat How built up connections alongside their residents, creating stronger community support networks for the caregivers of senior citizens.  

Source: MCI 

These days, community partners like Changi General Hospital, the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) and other East Coast residents check in on the health of their elderly neighbours regularly, supplementing any efforts which caregivers already provide — and stepping in where there might be none.    

“The process of identifying these seniors is not a simple one-off task. The volunteers had to undergo a series of training from befriending skills to knowing how to apply the community questions and interact with the seniors. The outcome is important for us to better address their needs and support the vulnerable seniors,” posted MP Chan previously about this community care effort. 

Source: Cheryl Chan / Facebook 

Joan Pereira: Mental health support for Henderson-Dawson 

MP Joan Pereira (Tanjong Pagar GRC) has long worked to look after the vulnerable.  

Project e-Learning Mental Health First Aid (Singapore) (eMHFA[S]), which she co-launched for her Henderson-Dawson ward, stands out for how it equips community volunteers and partners to support people in the neighbourhood with mental health conditions. 

Source: Joan Pereira/ Facebook 

She also lends her voice to care networks like the ESTHER Network for Health and Social Care and other caregiver peer support groups like CaringSG, which focuses on caregivers for special needs children as well as those for people with disabilities (PWDs).     

“Caregivers face different challenges and it’s important to journey with them as a buddy, connect them to the right resources, so as to ensure their well-being is looked into too,” posted MP Pereira in support of CaringSG’s virtual launch. 

In all, where the responsibility of caregiving is very real, this work by our MPs lays the ground for how the community can shoulder the load collectively and decisively for our caregivers — what’s very real, too, is that many hands make light work.