From Mdm Zuriah Binte Rasman’s sunny disposition, it is impossible to guess the hardships that have befallen her in the past two years. The 35-year-old is not only the sole breadwinner, but also the only caregiver to three sick family members and two primary schoolgoing children.
In mid-2016, her husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. Adding to her worries were her father’s heart failure, and she was also grappling with diabetes and high blood pressure – hers and her mother’s. Her life descended into a manic juggling act between work, home and medical appointments. As her husband had to undergo regular chemotherapy, Mdm Zuriah had to convert her full-time job to a part-time daily arrangement. In addition to tending to her kids’ needs, she also takes on the role of a nurse for the ailing adults. “I have to put on a smiling face at work and a brave front at home,” she says.
She credits her ability to cope to the monthly counselling sessions at MWS Covenant Family Service Centre – Hougang. The centre also helped her with food rations, supermarket vouchers, taxi vouchers, utility subsidies and cash assistance. “I vented my frustrations in front of my social worker Yiying. She acknowledges my feelings and struggles, and reaffirms my efforts.” Given her strength, it is little surprise that she won the Healthcare Humanity Awards 2018 accolade in the caregiver category, presented by The Courage Fund. “Although my path is dark, I know that there will be light at the end of it.”
Recognising the Strengths of Our Seniors in the Community The network of seven MWS Senior Activity Centres (SACs) run by Methodist Welfare Services do more than just organise activities