SINGAPORE — He once scaled Mount Everest to raise funds for needy patients. This year, orthopaedic surgeon Kumaran Rasappan will be scaling the heights of K2 and Makalu, again in the name of charity but this time to help caregivers.
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Through the six-month expedition, which started in June, Dr Kumaran, 32, hopes to raise at least S$50,000 for a Home Nursing Foundation’s (HNF) programme which aims to address the psycho-social and emotional needs of caregivers.
“In the course of our interactions and work with our patients and their caregivers, HNF observes the growing incidences of caregiver burnout,” said an HNF spokesperson on Friday (June 23).
“It has also become apparent to HNF that a well-balanced and well-resourced caregiver often correlates positively on a patient’s quality of life.”
Hence, the charity organisation, which provides home care in Singapore, will be launching the “Caring for Our Caregivers Programme”, a three-year pilot to provide all-rounded care and support to caregivers, once it receives adequate funding.
“I am heartened to learn that HNF is launching the new caregiver programme to address the psycho-social and emotional needs of caregivers, and not just focusing its efforts on what it has been doing well — delivering quality patient care,” said Dr Kumaran, Senior Resident in Orthopaedic Surgery under the National Healthcare Group.
Dr Kumaran started his fundraising activity, named “No Mountain Too High”, after he noticed, during his daily course of work, the emotional upheavals experienced by many caregivers, from anxieties to great levels of distress.
Such upheavals would inadvertently impact the caregivers’ psychological and emotional well-being as they take on the stressful task of caring and providing the best patient care to their loved ones, he said.
“I hope to raise greater awareness on the challenges faced by caregivers on a daily basis ,and it is my wish that the community will donate to support HNF’s caregiver programme,” he added.
In preparation for his expedition, Dr Kumaran climbed regularly at Bukit Timah Hill, and went up and down 27 stories in his apartment block and 50 storeys at The Pinnacle at Duxton with a fully loaded backpack, among other exercises.
In 2012, Dr Kumaran scaled Mount Everest to raise over S$40,000 for needy patients.
“His persistence and tenacity demonstrated in preparing for the climb have, in so many ways, reflected the spirit of our patients and their caregivers in overcoming adversities they face in life and to forge ahead with courage,” said Ms Karen Lee, HNF’s chief executive officer.
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