Campaign to encourage better care for elderly, people with special needs

A screen grab of an advertisement which is run alongside the "LiveEnabled" campaign.

SINGAPORE: Not many are aware that an elderly or disabled person can live an independent life, given the right help.

This is the reason behind "LivEnabled", a two—month campaign launched nationwide to foster greater awareness of the different care options and assistance schemes available through the Centre of Enabled Living (CEL).

Some 1,400 children are diagnosed annually as having require special needs, while the wider elderly population stands at some 350,000 people.

The number of people needing care and caregivers seeking access to its referral or assistive schemes rose to some 5,200 for the first eight months this year, compared to 3,540 in the same period last year.

Centre for Enabled Living chief executive Lee Kwai Sem said this represented only a fraction of the target population.

"Currently we are (looking at) about 4,000 to 5,000 referrals and we expect the number to hit 7,000 by the end of the year. But really if you look at the number of aged people in the population, this is really a very, very small proportion," Ms Lee said.

"We are concerned (about whether) anyone (is) falling through the net.

"Primarily, the referrals (come) to us through the hospitals. (Anecdotal evidence has shown that many who need help at home do not really know where to go to for help, or what kind of help services is available)," she said.

An information line, 1800—8585 885, has also been set up as part of the campaign.

Centre for Enabled Living chairman Chua Chin Kiat said it was important for Singaporeans to know that an elderly or disabled person can live independently with the right type of help.

"And that help (should) come from (caregivers) who love them," Mr Chua added.

Separately, CEL has also set aside another S$1.7 million to fund projects to develop eldercare and disability services.

This is under its Sustainable Enhancement for Eldercare and Disability services or SEED Fund launched last year.

The closing date for the second call for projects is September 30.

Interested parties may visit www.cel.sg for details.

—CNA/wk