Keith, 52 y/o, Chinese male, sole caregiver
Since early adulthood, Keith, currently 52, had to take on the roles of the main breadwinner for his family, and primary caregiver to his late father and younger brother with chronic schizophrenia.
Faced with uncertain situations since young, Keith had always envisioned having a picture-perfect family of his own. However, this dream was soon crushed when his younger son was born with special needs. At 11 years of age, Keith’s son has a mental capacity of a two-year-old and is completely dependent on Keith for his day-to-day needs, from feeding to toileting and showering. Not willing to put his 13-year-old daughter through what he had experienced as a teenager, Keith silently carries the burden of care in the family.
He now continues to provide for his brother and elderly mother full-time with the assistance of a helper. Keith sees himself as his brother’s confidante and chief problem solver, responding dutifully to his requests no matter how minute they may seem. Keith also maintains a positive relationship with his brother’s friends, who have been helpful in providing respite care support when needed.
Despite the tremendous weight on his shoulder, Keith remains a jovial man with a positive outlook. When asked about what motivates him to keep going, Keith responded light-heartedly: “if not me, then who?”
Like many caregivers, Keith worries about what would happen after he passes on. To better prepare for the inevitable future, Keith engaged the services of Special Needs Trust Company (SNTC) to set up a trust fund for his son. He also made careful plans to entrust the care of his children to his relatives in the case of his demise.
Keith currently receives caregiver support from MindCare. He leaves the following word of encouragement to all caregivers out there: “When I find myself in a bad situation, I try to find some little thing that's positive about it. Most of the time I can, and it gives me comfort & conviction to carry on.”