Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, Chairman of Alliance For a Safe Community back in December 2019 said, “Malaysia is heading to become an aging nation by 2030, and the government should be prepared to assist the elderly”.
Dr Edward G. Subramanian, the Managing Director of a Caretaker Academy International (CAI) based in Tampoi, Johor Bahru shares the same concern which led him to start the academy 3 years ago after seeing the lack of professionals in the local retirement homes. In his visit to California and New York in the US, he obtained the credentials to open a caretaker academy in Johor Bahru.
On 28th October 2020, the academy held a certificate handover ceremony to their third batch of graduates comprising 25 participants of different backgrounds – from fresh graduates to experienced nurses in private retirement homes.
Ruth Naheswari Subramaniam, 45, a nurse assistant in Taman Molek took her professional caretaker certificate after attending the 7 days course. “I had learned how to empathise with elderlies’ situations especially dementia and how to safely handle patients that needs extra attention. There are new techniques that helped me a lot in my career,” she said, adding that the immediate family members or guardians that are caring for the elderly or terminally ill patients need counselling and support for their mental wellbeing.
Officiated by Enny Suhailis Suleiman, Director of Johor Department of Women Development, she said the department is interested to adopt the caretaker’s course to be conducted under the Human Resources Development Fund (HRDF).
Dr Edward wishes that the future collaboration with the government would help the nation become more aware of the caregiver sector that requires its own professional skill set to add more options in career choices as well as help to become a compassionate society in the long run.