“Caregiving is very stressful”, shared Bana, who will soon be 77. She is currently looking after her 75-year-old sister who is blind and cannot walk because of swollen feet. “Someone has to be around,” said the mother of five (three of which are living overseas). She said that she has seven siblings, however, two has passed on while the rest are also overseas and therefore, unable to provide care to her sister.
And with her own spinal problems, she has had to scale down her activities including running a Laughter Club, which she has done since 2000. She was instrumental in bringing the Club to Singapore and starting the movement, which has since grown to 42 Laughter Clubs. “You have to stand for one hour. I cannot sit down and laugh! You really have to be strong.”
Though she gets assistance for her sister from a helper as well as her two children, she continues to persevere. “In caregiving, you must be patient. Nowadays, it is hard to get good caregivers.” What about putting her in a nursing home? Bana said her sister wouldn’t be comfortable there. “She will die faster. And the food is not good there, and there is no Indian-style of food.”
She further added: “I have to struggle on … no choice. It is better that I look after her and it is also cheaper.”