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Life after Caregiving

As a caregiver, looking after your loved one has been your life. Dealing with the transition when your loved one has passed on can be daunting. You may feel loss from not knowing what to do next as your routine used to revolve around caring for your loved one. This is a beginning of a process of learning to live again.

What to do next?


When your loved one passes on, a mix feeling of relief and guilt is often experienced. The sense of relief is when you know your loved one is no longer in agony and you no longer need to struggle with the emotional turmoil of end of life. However, that is usually replaced by the sense of loss. Allow yourself to grief over your loss.


FIND ACTIVITIES

It can be particularly hard for seniors dealing with loss of a spouse. Overcoming isolation is the greatest challenge in moving on with life afterward especially if the senior was highly dependent on the deceased spouse. They might start neglecting their own care or becoming more inactive by staying at home all the time. Such behavior over a prolonged period can lead to other health problems and compromise welfare. For caregivers who are retired, you can discover and participate in activities on your own or with a group. Here are some suggested activities from HealthHub.

Try to immerse yourself in activities that give your purpose to overcome the loneliness. You can start doing things that you thought of but never had the time to do before, such as catching up with family and friends, travelling, volunteering, exercising or picking up a hobby. Talk to your family members and celebrate the memory of your loved one by reflecting the times you have together. Joining in support groups allow you to share your experiences and process your feelings. Opening up yourself to someone else can be a powerful healing tool. If you find yourself struggling to cope or unable to adjust after some time, seek professional help here. There are counselling and therapy that specializes in grief and loss. You can search for counsellors specialising in grief, loss and depression here.


REVIEW FINANCES

It is also useful to do a review of your finances. Some caregivers left work to provide care. After not working for some time, you may feel uncertain about re-entering the workforce. There are initiatives available to assist you in this transition. Adapt and Grow by Workforce Singapore helps Singaporeans in job seeking and explore new career opportunities. SkillFuture is a national movement to provide you with the opportunities to develop your potential through skills mastery and lifelong learning. E2i’s Returner Work Trial is a scheme to facilitate inactive PMETs back to workforce.

Dealing with a loss is never easy. It takes time to move on.

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What’s next after caregiving?
Life after Caregiving
What’s next after caregiving?
Life after Caregiving | Agency for Integrated Care Singapore