- Becoming a caregiver can be stressful and emotional, but there are resources that can make things a little
- Tap on the experience of seasoned caregivers, who have a lot of insight and knowledge to share through
- Many types of support groups exist, and it is important to have a good network of support, which can include
friends and family members.
- Doctors and other healthcare workers are instrumental in helping you make informed decisions about how to
care for your loved one.
Seeking support from another person
As caregivers, we may feel alone in our caregiving journey but we need not feel this
way. Others have similar journeys, and experienced caregivers have invaluable insights and knowledge to share with
Actions to take
Seek support from others, including other caregivers, doctors, your friends and family.
Join a support group; find caregiver support groups.
Find information on support for children and adults with disabilities: By disability
condition, or by type of disability support.
Navigate common caregiving scenarios through this resource.
Refer to this caregiver support guide on the journey to caregiving.
Sign up for Start Right Workshop
Experienced caregivers can offer personal, tried-and-tested advice on the concerns and challenges faced by
caregivers. Some support groups are run by Social Service Agencies (SSAs) or hospitals; others by caregivers
themselves. In this day and age, support groups do not just rely on face-to-face meetings – they also have the
benefit of connecting on social media and the internet.
Friends and family members are also important sources of emotional support. Develop a support
system of family and friends and meet other caregivers who share similar experiences with you - they are the
ones who can journey with you. By helping and encouraging one another, the journey becomes easier.
Health matters are complicated; but when it concerns your loved one, "complicated"
becomes frightening and frustrating.
Your doctor is an indispensable partner in your care journey. They will discuss with you
the next steps to take, which includes attending further clinical sessions or sessions on understanding the
disability, and being aware of the resources to help you manage your loved one’s condition.
It is important to maintain an effective and collaborative 2-way communication with your
doctor. Having ready information about your care recipient and sharing your concerns and expectations will allow
better information exchange and shared decision-making.
Look for reliable resources on the internet or visit the library for information. For
example, the Caregivers Pod at Enabling Village has an e-kiosk that features a curated collection of disability
and caregiving resources from the National Library.
In Singapore, there are more than 50 SSAs catering to persons with disabilities. Below
is a list of service providers catering to persons with disabilities, and which also offer some form of support for
What to expect after a diagnosis
For caregivers of young children with special needs
Specialised support in the form of early intervention services offers help for young children with special needs to
develop and to maximise their potential in their growing years. Often, they benefit most from such help in their
early childhood years, when they are six years old and younger.
Through participating in various early intervention programmes, young children with
special needs may improve their health, language and communication, cognitive development, and social and emotional
If your child has been assessed to require early intervention support, you may wish to
find out more about what EIPIC is, the importance of early intervention, and learn tips on how to support your child
during this journey. Download these guides for parents:
As a new caregiver, you may have many questions on early intervention. To help address
some of these questions, a Start Right Workshop for new caregivers is also available. Through this session, you
will learn more about early intervention and also techniques to better engage your child, from an experienced
caregiver. For more information and to sign up, click here.
Another milestone for many caregivers is their children's education – enrolling their children in a Special
Education (SPED) school, mainstream school or even getting an exemption. Having a sense of what lies ahead helps you
to think about your options, prepare yourself and make plans for your loved one. For more information on needs
at each life stage, please go to Life Stages &
Life stage needs and key services in the disability sector
For caregivers of persons with acquired disabilities
The impact of a loved one acquiring a disability from a serious illness or accident goes
far beyond the disability itself. There are the immediate pressures of looking after someone who used to be fit and
independent, and coping with their physical and emotional needs. Then there could be problems with family finances,
and the challenge of juggling work and family commitments with caregiving duties. All these could leave even the
most loving, committed caregiver feeling stretched, overwhelmed and exhausted.
Connecting with more experienced caregivers can help – after all, they are people
who are coping and surviving, and have personal expertise to share. Some caregiver support groups are more informal;
others also offer structured programmes to help caregivers.
If your loved one is receiving support from a social service agency for persons with
disabilities, you could also check if it provides caregiver support activities or programmes.
Persons with acquired disabilities may have also successfully re-integrated into the
workforce. SG Enable’s Hospital-to-Work (H2W) programme provides participants with a holistic suite of
services that includes rehabilitation, personal development and skills training, and employment assistance. Support
is coordinated through a H2W Case Manager.
Bringing your loved ones with disabilities home from hospital
Actions to take
- Talk to your healthcare providers about post-hospitalisation plans.
- Get your home ready for your loved one.
- Learn specific skills to manage your loved one’s condition.
Bringing your loved one home after a hospital stay can be both joyful and a little
frightening. Here are some things you can do.
Working with healthcare providers
Caregivers can check with doctors and medical social workers for more information on
post-hospitalisation plans. Discharge planning should start early during hospitalisation. This will allow adequate
time for the healthcare team to prepare for any referrals, rehabilitation and post-discharge needs, including home
care. A discharge plan will reduce stress and allow the caregiver to be more prepared.
Making your home conducive for caregiving and disability-friendly
You may need to make changes to your home to make it easier and safer for persons with
disabilities to live more independently, and for caregivers to perform care tasks. These include:
- Changing the physical space – arranging of furniture, widening doorways
to create room for ambulating and carrying out care tasks.
- Adding fittings and fixtures – these include grab bars and ramps for
mobility, lowering light switches, using lever instead of knob taps.
- Buying Assistive Technology (AT) devices and software – there is a host of AT
devices that can facilitate independent living and care tasks. For more information, visit the Assistive
Technology section of this website.
- Making the HDB apartments more senior-friendly. For more information, visit the Money Matters section of this website.
Some can be done quickly; others require planning and cost. But what actually needs to
be done depends on the home itself and the support needs of the person with disabilities. You can seek advice from
therapists in hospitals or your SSA. Smart home devices can also be used to let persons with disabilities be more
independent at home. For more information on smart home devices, see below:
Prior to discharge, hospitals provide training to family members on how to care for
their loved ones at home. Various SSAs and private service providers also provide training on home care and
caregiving skills. A number of these are supported by the Caregiver Training Grant (CTG). For more information on
CTG and the courses it supports, see below:
For more information on schemes and services that support persons with disabilities,
including hiring a foreign domestic worker or live-in caregiver, visit our Disability Support -
Getting support at work and financial assistance
Actions to take
- Ask your company about your leave entitlement and the possibility of working from home and other flexi-work
- Explore financial aid options to support your caregiver journey.
Juggling the demands of a career and caregiving can be challenging, and finding the
right mix of family care, professional care and work can depend on many factors. There are factors that you can
control, such as finding the right support and working with service providers, and other factors that are beyond
Legally, employees are entitled to certain leaves of absence; these include child care
leave, maternity leave, paternity leave and more. For more information on eligibility and entitlements
for different types of leave, see below:
Caregivers can also consider no-pay leave and other flexi-work arrangements such as
telecommuting, staggered work hours and part-time work. These are not legal entitlements and are up to employer's
Financial assistance for caregivers
The government is providing more support to caregivers. See MOH’s Caregiver Support Action Plan.
One of the financial assistance schemes made available since Oct 2019 is the Home Caregiving Grant (HCG) which provides a $200 monthly cash payout to help defray
caregiving expenses. The Home Caregiving Grant replaces the previous Foreign Domestic Worker Grant.
There are also various financial assistance schemes and subsidies tied to the use of services. For example, the Foreign Domestic Worker Levy Concession (FDWLC) and Assistive Technology Fund.
Some types of assistance are intended for the support of the person with disabilities,
but others are generally provided to lower-income households. For more information, visit the Money
Matters section of this website.
For more information on caregiving, do visit the Empowering
Caregivers section in this website.
There are legal provisions and schemes in place to protect and address the needs of persons with disabilities:
For more information, please refer to the Legal matters section under Child &
Resources and support
- Counselling services and resources
- Caregiver Training conducted by Agency of Integrated Care (AIC)
- Resources regarding hiring of Foreign Domestic Workers
- Resources on Home Modification
- Home-based care services
- Hospital Support Services