SINGAPORE: The Caregiving Dilemma

SINGAPORE: The Caregiving Dilemma

Credit: FrameAngel,

Credit: FrameAngel,

My mom has just been diagnosed with dementia. I knew it in my heart even before the geriatrician announced his diagnosis. The signs were there – her poor memory, her inability to reason, and in recent times, her increased anxiety and (almost incessant) repetitive questioning. That last bit has been the hardest part to deal with.

At the moment, I am very blessed to have a good live-in helper. But her work contract is coming to an end soon and I am not confident that she will stay. If I’m in her position, I’ll choose to work elsewhere. It is one tough job.

So a thought that I have pushed away for a while is resurfacing: Should I send my mom to a nursing home?

While it seems common for people in the ‘West’ to live in a nursing home in their old age, the decision to send one’s parents to an old folks’ home in this part of the world is often imbued with moral implications.

Here, we are inculcated with the value of filial piety from young and children are expected to look after their parents in their old age. Sending one’s parents to a nursing home is often frowned upon as being unfilial.

A long time ago, I used to think the same way, too, that sending one’s parents to a nursing home is wrong. Back then, life was just black or white; grey was not accommodated. But after I graduated from university and started my first job as a medical social worker, it opened my eyes to the predicaments of caregiving and I realized my views had been too simplistic. Placing one’s parents in a home does not mean the children no longer love or care for their parents. Sometimes, it’s simply that the level of care required by the elderly person is beyond the children’s abilities to manage. (more…)


Ruth lives in Singapore, a tiny island 137 kilometres north of the equator. After graduating from university, she worked as a medical social worker for a few years before making a switch to HR and worked in various industries such as retail, banking and manufacturing. In spite of the invaluable skills and experiences she had gained during those years, she never felt truly happy or satisfied. It was only when she embarked on a journey to rediscover her strengths and passion that this part of her life was transformed. Today, Ruth is living her dreams as a writer. Ironically, she loves what she does so much that at one point, she even thought that becoming a mom would hinder her career. Thanks to her husband’s gentle persuasions, she now realises what joy she would have missed out had she not changed her mind. She is now a happy WAHM. Ruth launched MomME Circle, a resource site to support and inspire moms to create a life and business they love. She has a personal blog Mommy Café where she writes about her son's growing up and shares her interests such as food and photography.

More Posts

INDONESIA: Caring For Your Parents

These past few months have been really stressful in this household. Yes, I live with my parents and my two younger brothers. It’s considered common, here, in Indonesia, for children to remain living with their parents until they get married – or in my case, until they get divorced and move back home.

Late October my father fell ill due to twenty-something years of dealing with Type 2 Diabetes. He got so sick from gangrene on his left foot that he had to fly back to Jakarta because he didn’t want to have his surgery in Zambia alone. It was by a pure miracle he made it back to Jakarta after such a long flight.

We took him to the hospital immediately, and the doctor said surgery was the only way out. (more…)


Founder of Single Moms Indonesia, community leader and builder. Deeply passionate about women empowerment.

More Posts

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookGoogle Plus

WASHINGTON, USA: Savoring Time with Aging Parents

My husband snuggles with our four-year old daughter and asks, “If I get sick, will you take care of me?”  She smiles, hugs him around the neck, and says, “Yes, I will take care of you daddy.”  I chime in and ask, “If I get sick, will you take care of me?”  She smiles and says, “Well, I already have to take care of daddy. Maybe my sister can take care of you.”

I laugh out loud – partly because I’m hurt…she’s such a daddy’s girl…but also because at such a young age, she already seems to understand the responsibility involved in taking care of someone.

This past Monday I hugged and squeezed my parents tightly as I said good-bye to them at the airport after we all spent a wonderful long weekend together in Northern California.  I hadn’t seen them since November.  As we pulled away, my four-year old asks, “Momma, are you sad?”  I answer, “A little bit.”  She says, “Why, because you will miss your mommy and daddy?”  I say, “Yes.”

I have a close-knit family and a great relationship with my parents – Mami and Papi.  We can talk to each other about anything.  I talk to Mami everyday and never hesitate to ask her for her advice or opinion on an issue at hand.  It was hard for me to relocate to the Northwest U.S. from the east coast because I was putting almost 3,000 miles between us…and it’s gotten even harder after I’ve had my own children. (more…)

Eva Fannon (USA)

Eva Fannon is a working mom who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her hubby and two girls. She was born and raised on the east coast and followed her husband out west when he got a job offer that he couldn't refuse. Eva has always been a planner, so it took her a while to accept that no matter how much you plan and prepare, being a mom means a new and different state of "normal". Despite the craziness on most weekday mornings (getting a family of four out the door in time for work and school is no easy task!), she wouldn't trade being a mother for anything in the world. She and her husband are working on introducing the girls to the things they love - travel, the great outdoors, and enjoying time with family and friends. Eva can be found on Twitter @evafannon.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterPinterestGoogle Plus