COVID-19 has changed the way we live, work and play. At CAL, we have been running C2C classes online to ensure that caregivers can continue to benefit from the lessons even though they are physically unable to meet. This new mode of conducting lessons has been well-received, with some classes which were suspended halfway through the course managing to continue with online sessions. Many new classes have also been held entirely online.
Virtual classes mean that the graduation ceremony is held online too! On 20 June 2020, one such class held its graduation through Zoom. A total of 12 caregivers graduated from Class 12/20 through a session of sharing experiences, warm smiles and fun screenshots. At least 5 other classes have also graduated, and more will be graduating soon. We are glad to celebrate with these caregivers who have been through the C2C programme and learned to care for their loved ones better.
Here's what Class 12/20 had to say of their C2C experience:
"From CAL, I have learnt the 3 Es.
Essential caregiving knowledge, Empathy for loved ones & others, advocate my positive Experience between trainers, classmates and me."
"Caring - from C2C, I learnt how to be a more effective caregiver by not acting impulsively or just being a problem solver, but caring with understanding and empathy. Solving problems not as ‘yours and mine’ but ‘the problem is ours’ and is to be solved by us together.
Acceptance - from C2C, I learnt how to be a more effective caregiver by accepting some of the unexpected or undesired situations. For example, my son will not let my daughter be close to his baby son. I learnt to accept that things can happen only when time, place and people involved are all appropriate. (like the Chinese saying 天时地利人和)
Learning - from C2C, I learnt how to be a more effective caregiver by gaining more information and knowing more about available support. I became more knowledgeable and more importantly to got to know a group of lovely kind-hearted caregivers."
- Soh Wah
Above: A joyous celebration at the graduation of Class 15/2020 via Zoom
Above: Class 16/2020 (Chinese class) recently graduated, marking the end of their course with a virtual session to share their stories and experiences. They have decided to make the recording available so that others can benefit too!
《C16/2020线上C2C》结束了! 同学们分享故事和经验，标志着12个星期的学习历程。 希望同学们的声音可以鼓励您来报名参与C2C的课程，从中受益！
Above: Another joyful graduation celebration of Class 21/20 via Zoom
Above: A beautiful thank you card made specially for our Programme Manager, Elizabeth by the caregivers of Class 21/20
"If I had to sum up the C2C class in a few words, they would be practical, inspirational and encouraging.
I found the course very well balanced, covering a lot of material, and presented in a clear framework which was very useful. As someone recently thrust into a caregiver role, I realized that I had been self-educating (mainly on the internet) on the fly, doing research as an issue or crisis presented itself. The course framework allowed me to take a more holistic approach broadening not only my view of caregiving but also of various mental illnesses, medications, crisis and recovery, etc. Several sessions were especially helpful, including the one on the psychological impact of mental illness as it helped me better understand the impact of his illness on my son’s sense of hope and capability.
One of the highlights of the course was a guest speaker, a young man recovering from mental illness, who spoke with us about his journey and took Q&A. I found this session very moving, inspirational and extremely encouraging.
Liz, our facilitator, was amazing and personified the “practical, inspirational and encouraging” description I gave of the course. She was clear, caring and resourceful. At key points in the course, she would share parts of her own journey as a caregiver, challenges, what she had learned. Her willingness to be so authentic and open with us, along with her incredible wealth of knowledge, greatly enhanced the learning and gave me a real sense of hope and support.
In summary, I feel much better equipped to talk with our son’s doctors and psychologists and advocate more effectively for him. I have a clearer way forward as a caregiver, a greater understanding of mental illness, from crisis to recovery and a useful framework to refer to and broaden along my own caregiver journey. In addition, I have made some friends amongst the class and definitely want to keep in close touch with Liz.
Thanks so much to Liz, CAL and all the organisations which support and fund this great organization and class!"
- Mavis (May) McAllister. C2C 21/20
Know a friend, a relative or a colleague who might be caring for someone with a mental health issue or dementia? You could share with them about CAL and our C2C classes. Let them know that our C2C programme is now available online, and register at: www.cal.org.sg/c2c