S’pore honours caregiver heroes

pamela soh

For months, full-time caregiver Pamela Soh was struggling to deal with her mother’s dementia.

But the soft-spoken 47-year-old later found support by signing up for a training programme conducted at the Alzheimer’s Disease Association (ADA).

Now, Ms Soh is helping others who are facing similar challenges. She joined the ADA as a volunteer in March to help ease the burden of caregivers by looking after patients who are suffering from dementia.

For her efforts, Ms Soh bagged the Super Hero award on Saturday at a concert held at *Scape to thank volunteers ahead of International Volunteer Day (IVD). The United Nations has designated Dec 5 as IVD.

She was one of six award winners picked from over 800 stories submitted to IVD’s My Volunteer Hero online portal, which encourages volunteers and the public to share stories of outstanding volunteers.

When her mother was diagnosed with dementia in June last year, Ms Soh left her job as a pre-school teacher to care for her full-time. By then suffering from mood swings and paranoia, her mother was accusing her family members of stealing her money and jewellery.

Ms Soh’s challenges in dealing with her mother’s condition motivated her to share her experience and skills as an ADA volunteer.

Despite clinching the award, Ms Soh played down her achievements.

“Is my effort enough? Am I taking the award away from someone who might deserve it more? I just hope volunteer work will make me a better person,” she said.

Excerpt taken from The Straits Times, December 1, 2013



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