Day Activity Centre in Jurong West brings relief to caregivers

Mr Ahmad Fahmi Yusuf trying out a mechanical hoist in the new Day Activity Centre in Jurong West as Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development, looks on.
Mr Ahmad Fahmi Yusuf trying out a mechanical hoist in the new Day Activity Centre in Jurong West as Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development, looks on.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

Miss Nurul Syazwani, 23, has a rare type of cerebral palsy.

The eldest of four children aged between seven and 23, she is prone to mood swings and tantrums. She is also wheelchair-bound, following a fall that left her with fractured hips.

Her mother and primary caregiver, Madam Nakia Hamim, 48, is a nurse who often has to work shifts, making it difficult for her to look after her daughter all the time. Madam Nakia's husband works as well.

The launch of the Day Activity Centre (DAC) in Jurong West has eased the burden on caregivers like Madam Nakia, who has praised the quality of the care given to her daughter by its staff.

Madam Nakia said: "Nurul often looks forward to coming here, as she has made close friends here. Before this, whenever she stayed at home she would be moodier and more bored."

There are currently 30 DACs in Singapore providing long-term care for 1,300 adults with disabilities.

The one in Jurong West is the first to be set up by the Singapore Red Cross.

It was officially launched yesterday in a ceremony officiated by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and an MP for Jurong GRC.

 
 
 
 

Speaking at the launch, Mr Lee said: "I am heartened that the DAC will be bringing new opportunities to donors and volunteers who are generous with their time and resources in their desire to help others."

The 464 sq m facility has the capacity to house 39 clients.

It is also equipped with advanced therapy tools and a mechanical hoist system not commonly found in other centres.

The Jurong West DAC caters to anyone aged 16 and above with physical, neuro-muscular, intellectual or multiple disabilities. It offers care on either a half-or full-day basis.

The Singapore Red Cross said the centre has holistic programmes designed to equip those with disabilities with daily and community living skills to maximise their independence.

Recreational activities such as art therapy, meal preparation, baking and gardening are also available.

"With the DAC, family members can go about their daily chores with the peace of mind that their loved ones are safe and meaningfully engaged," said Mr Benjamin William, secretary-general and chief executive of the Singapore Red Cross.

Another caregiver, Madam Nuraini Mohd Noor, 50, whose son Ahmad Fahmi Yusuf, 26, experiences epileptic fits, said he has experienced fewer episodes since being brought to the centre. "He is friendlier now, and less scared of people," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 10, 2019, with the headline 'Day Activity Centre in Jurong West brings relief to caregivers'. Print Edition | Subscribe