TL;DR – As a Mother’s Day special, we chat with working mother, and Care Professional, Jocelyn!
Hi Jocelyn, thank you for letting us interview you. Could you start off by sharing a bit more about yourself?
Hi, I’m Jocelyn and I am 50 years old. I’m currently self-employed and have four sons – aged 27, 26, 22 and 17.
You mentioned working at Homage as a Care Professional. Could you explain what Homage does, what your role is and perhaps share what a typical day would look like for you?
Homage gives a platform to beginners and people who have a passion in serving others as well as to help others with their physical and mental needs. A typical day would be visiting patients in their homes and assisting them in their needs as well as guiding family members on how to help them when we, the Care Professionals, are not available.
Have you always been in this line of work and what prompted you to join this industry?
Before I joined Homage, I have always been glad to serve those in need and help them to have a positive mindset. I was a volunteer in family counseling and have been a caregiver for my relatives and friends for over 10 years. I have seen many people healed from their sicknesses which has made me want to help more people recover and feel better about themselves. It warms my heart knowing that I can improve or benefit living conditions for those in need.
Due to my current commitments, I am only able to work freelance. But in the future, if I have less commitments, my desire is to commit full time to Homage or other caregiving platforms and encourage younger generations to be involved in this line of work.
Can you share some of your caregiving experiences?
One challenging situation was when I encountered my first patient who had dementia. When I wanted to touch her, she pinched my hand and I was shocked as I was unprepared. But then I realised that she is anxious and unfamiliar with me, so I had to familiarise myself with her and vice versa. Thus I held her hands, talked to her and assured her constantly throughout the visit.
Despite all the challenges as a Care Professional, there are also really good memories too. For example, I have been serving a bedridden patient who could not really open her eyes & communicate for almost two months but suddenly one day she gave me a thumbs up during my visit. Her family members & I were both surprised and also exhilarated at this progress. It made me feel very touched as well as I felt that the patient trusted me enough and made me feel that my efforts were appreciated not only by the family, but the patient as well.
Thank you for your sharing – caregiving certainly does not sound easy. What kind of skillsets do you think one needs to have to be a good caregiver?
Personally for me, I believe that to be a good Care Professional, we must have passion for caregiving and a desire to help others. We need to provide quality care with love, empathy, patience, kindness and respect. Thus, we need an understanding heart to cater to the different patients’ needs. Communication skills are also necessary to interact with our variety of patients and their families. Lastly, we also need the ability to effectively manage the demands of the job.
Labour MP Yao Wan Ling recently spoke about the White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development in Parliament and about championing for women in the workplace. As a working mother, how has it been juggling work and family? How do you achieve a good balance?
Time management is very important to me to achieve a good work life balance. It is the key factor of how I juggle between my family, my work and for myself. So far, I have been managing my time well between all my commitments as I do have a habit of planning and keeping track of everything on my calendar.
The White Paper on Singapore Women’s Development also called for recognition for caregivers’ contributions as well as more support for their efforts? What is your view on this?
Yes I agree that caregivers do need more recognition and support from others as it is hard work yet very meaningful. The more I serve, the more I realise that we shouldn’t take life for granted.
I feel that caregivers inculcate highly beneficial skills that allow us to not only care for ourselves but also to the people around us that we love and care for. I feel that many people have the misconception that caregivers are doing dirty work that no one likes to do. But in reality when you try to take care of others in need, you will understand why people come into the industry and want to help others more.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts! We’re happy to see that there is increasingly more recognition and support for caregivers.
It’s also not easy to be a working mother and we respect them a lot! Do you and your family have any Mother’s Day plans?
Thank you so much for respecting us as working mothers. For Mother’s Day, my family is planning a short trip to Malaysia. We often spend quality time together once a month for family bonding and like to try out different home-cooked foods prepared by everyone.