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May’s Story - Caregiver to Sister with schizophrenia

May (not her real name), Female, 72 years old

My younger sister (now aged 67) is diagnosed with Schizophrenia. She was first referred to SAMH Bukit Gombak Group Homes (now renamed as SAMH Group Homes) in 2005 for residential care. The home staff helped my sister to find several jobs as a cleaner but as she often experienced insecurities working alone and would display emotional outbursts, she could not sustain in her employment.

SAMH subsequently arranged for my sister to volunteer at a nearby eldercare centre. Not only did my sister enjoyed watching other elderly having fun, but she also plucked up the courage to participate in activities like dancing and singing, as well as completed the certified training to massage stroke patients. In 2009, my sister was discharged from the Group Homes and moved to live with me in my then new HDB flat.

Another SAMH programme, Mobile Support Team, has been following up with my sister since then. Over the years, her social workers have helped to refer her to several day centres where she could be engaged in meaningful activities or vocational training. They also continued to check in with us to make sure we were coping well and when needed, would pay us a visit to work with us on our current problems. As the only caregiver taking care of my younger sister, I really appreciate the social workers who have been journeying with us through all these years.


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