In a shocking incident caught on a CCTV camera, a Singapore helper was seen spitting into a cup of cereal that was to be served to her elderly employer.
Upon noticing the misdeed, the maid was then confronted by her employer, but denied the act.
Here’s what happened that day.
Singapore Helper Spits Into A Bowl Of Cereal
Image courtesy: Mothership
Helper has an “attitude problem”
According to a report on Mothership, the woman was hired two months ago from Indonesia to look after two senior citizens. Zheng decided to hire the 30-year-old helper to look after her grandparents.
She said, “My grandpa and grandma are about 90 years old. My grandpa is suffering from dementia and my grandma had a stroke. I have to work and I was worried I cannot take care of them. So I hired a helper. How was I to know that hiring a helper would bring along such problems?”
Zheng shared that she had a frayed relationship with the helper as she often showed “some attitude.”
Thanks to the “video footage” Zheng saw what happened
On the said day when the incident took place, the employer was working from home. She had activated her camera to see if her grandpa was awake. But, she instead saw something else!
While making cereal for her grandfather, the maid suddenly leaned forward and spat into the cup. Shocked by what she saw, Zheng decided to confront the helper. Initially, she denied it but later admitted to it when she saw the video providing incontrovertible proof.
The infuriated employer decided to send the maid back to the employment agency from where she was hired. It remains to be seen how the employers and the agency will handle this situation further.
Elderly Couples In S’pore Often Abused By Maids?
Unfortunately, such incidents of inhumane treatment of the elderly in the hands of helpers are not new on the island.
A similar incident took place earlier this year when an Indonesian maid was jailed for five months for abusing an elderly woman with dementia, leaving her with bruises and bumps.
In Singapore, with couples working, hiring a maid is no longer a luxury. It has become essential for the smooth functioning of any household. Be it taking care of the young or the elderly, people are increasingly hiring maids. But are they specifically choosing the right help for their elders?
Hiring untrained maids to take care of the elderly can be risky sometimes
Employers often expect Singapore helpers to render professional nursing services. For instance, managing medicines, tube feedings, doing blood tests, and others.
In fact, when a survey was conducted involving 1,190 senior citizens and their caregivers, almost half of the families polled said they hired FDW to take care of their frail elderly relatives. It further revealed that almost half the helpers lacked the experience or training to perform eldercare duties.
Another potential risk includes work burn out and FDW’s inability to communicate their concerns about the elderly to their employers.
Dr Chong therefore, advises families to get professional help when maids are new and not confident of looking after the sick and frail elderly.
In cases where there is a significant deterioration in the elderly’s health, or when family members are busy, you should get professional help to look after your elderly.
How To Hire A Singapore Helper To Care For The Elderly
Image courtesy: Pixabay
Should have relevant experience
It is always best to opt for maids who have relevant experience. If your maid is experienced, they will know how to deal with any situation without you having to monitor them always.
Interview the candidates well
Don’t be in a hurry to finalise a candidate at the earliest. Instead, take time to interview the candidates well. While, it may not be possible to gauge the actual trait of a person during an interview, you can pose situational questions too.
For instance, give her different situations and see how she would respond in these possible scenarios. This way you gauge their experience and can also share how you would want a particular situation handled.
Check your elder’s reactions
Image courtesy: iStock
You need to check your parents’ reaction to the help. Are they comfortable in their presence? Sometimes elders also can turn extremely impatient and they may not like the new person even though there’s no actual problem.
So, you need to take a very neutral approach while making your decisions. If you see, elders in your family are being unrealistic, then sit with them and talk to them.
Here are some other essential parameters to take note of while hiring a maid for the elderly:
Check Agency Experience: Choose an agency that has experience of more than 5 years.
FDW Placement Volume: Select a value greater than 200. Any agency with greater than 200 placements is considered big by the MOM. This also ensures that the agency is “serious” about its work.
FDW Transfer rate: You should choose a value between 0 and 10. This transfer rate refers to the percentage of helpers who were transferred from 1 employer to another 3 times or more. It will give you an idea of how reliable the help is.
Maids Taking Care Of Elderly Overburdened With Work: Report
Last year, a report was released by Aware and Home. It highlighted the plight of the domestic workers here who care for seniors.
The findings revealed that most Singapore helper(/s) worked an average of 14.5 hours a day. They juggled caregiving responsibilities and housework. As a result, many of them suffered from headaches, body aches, and interrupted sleep.
Almost majority, which is around 84 percent of the respondents, didn’t get a weekly rest day. Also, when they were granted time off from work, it was never a full day.
To address the issue, the study suggested that the helpers’ work and rest hours be regulated. This should be done after taking into consideration the nature of caregiving work.
A little bit of understanding from both parties can avoid many unpleasant incidents. An employer needs to respect their helper and have realistic expectations for them. On the other hand, the maid must also try to understand the needs of her employer and not take undue advantage or ill-treat them.