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Identity Crisis at 62: Caregiver to Elderly In-laws

“It took me 3 months to complete the course, another 6 months to come to terms with my new role in life.”

Not only did he have to shelve dreams of travelling, gardening, and singing with his church choir, Mark Chin, then 62, had to sell his architecture firm and struggle with one of the hardest tasks in his life. He became a live-in caregiver to his elderly mother-in-law, who has vascular dementia, and his father-in-law, who has Alzheimer’s disease. Through a friend’s recommendation, he attended CAL’s C2C Training Programme and was equipped with the knowledge and skills to help him care for his in-laws while his wife continued to work.  

His family has arrived at an arrangement that works for now, but finding places in eldercare homes in a suitable location, with standards of care that meet their expectations, has been a challenge. Mr Chin’s mother-in-law is still on a waitlist.

Even after becoming a caregiver, Mr Chin was still keen to work. Last year, he applied for a civil service job that he felt was relevant to his experience and interests. He did not get the job and was not given a reason for the rejection.

“I know professionally I can still contribute, but because of the situation I have to stop. You just have to accept it,” he said in his mother-in-law’s home.


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