With an infectious warmth and energy even over a video call, and it’s easy to see why Ms Gloria Soo, a life-and-business coach, is known to her clients as the wonder woman of sales. Beneath her energetic exterior, she has her struggles too.
Ms Soo’s younger daughter, Carolyn, was born with a form of tuberculosis which led to a deformity on the left side of her brain. She requires constant care, and although the family’s domestic helper looks after her in the day, Ms Soo takes over at night. Ms Soo and her family received painful news in March 2022 with Carolyn’s diagnosis of early-onset dementia.
Her condition deteriorated rapidly, and she began having extreme mood swings, changing from laughing to crying, angry and even violent in a matter of seconds.
Despite these new challenges, Ms Soo’s hope remains. “Sometimes Carolyn realises what she’s doing and apologises, saying ‘sorry, mummy’. Those are the good moments and I see them as signs of progress,” she shares.
To overcome the challenges of caregiving, Ms Soo is an advocate of self-care. Equally important is finding a good support system. She acknowledges that it can be difficult for caregivers to find people to turn to as others who are not in a similar situation may find it difficult to empathise and not know what kind of support they can offer. With this in mind, Ms Soo started offering courses with MINDS Care Circle, a platform for caregivers to come together and seek social, emotional and practical support.
Through MINDS Care Circle, Ms Soo and her fellow caregivers share a safe space to support one another through the highs and lows of caregiving.