New Red Cross Day Activity Centre for people with disabilities in Jurong West offers caregivers respite

There are currently 30  Day Activity Centres in Singapore providing long-term care for 1,300 adults with disabilities and the one in Jurong West is the first to be set up by the Singapore Red Cross.
There are currently 30 Day Activity Centres in Singapore providing long-term care for 1,300 adults with disabilities and the one in Jurong West is the first to be set up by the Singapore Red Cross.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO
The new Day Activity Centre (DAC) in Jurong West was officially launched on Tuesday (April 9) in a ceremony officiated by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and an MP for Jurong GRC.
The new Day Activity Centre (DAC) in Jurong West was officially launched on Tuesday (April 9) in a ceremony officiated by Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and an MP for Jurong GRC.PHOTO: LIANHE WANBAO

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

The eldest of four children, aged between seven and 23, she is often prone to mood swings as well as tantrums and is 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 also works as well.

The launch of the new Day Activity Centre (DAC) in Jurong West has eased the burden on caregivers like Madam Nakia, who has praised the quality 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 and the one in Jurong West is the first to be set up by the Singapore Red Cross.

It was officially launched on Tuesday (April 9) 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 at Jurong West has the capacity to house 39 clients, and is equipped with advanced therapy tools and a mechanical hoist system not commonly found in other similar centres. The Jurong West centre caters to anyone aged 16 and above with physical, neuro-muscular, intellectual or multiple disabilities. Full-day or half-day daycare are available as options.

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 and craft, meal preparation, baking and gardening, are also offered.

"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 officer of the Singapore Red Cross.

Another caregiver, Madam Nuraini Mohd Noor, 50, whose son Fahmi was diagnosed with epileptic fits, said he suffers fewer episodes since being brought to the centre.

"He is more friendly now, and less scared of people," she said.