Lee Yoke Sui is a client at our Day Activity Centre (DAC) who is always full of smiles. She was born prematurely and was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy at birth.
Due to the weakness and tightness in her legs, Yoke Sui is unable to move around on her own. At home, she moves around on the floor or by holding onto furniture for support. Outdoors, Yoke Sui requires caregivers’ assistance to push her using a pushchair.
Yoke Sui also has severe intellectual disabilities and limited communication skills. She is unable to carry out basic activities of daily living on her own and requires significant assistance from her caregivers. Her 82-year-old mother has been her primary caregiver until a double hip replacement surgery recently. Yoke Sui is now being cared for mainly by her domestic helper. Her family is financially strapped and they are currently being supported by a cousin who is a retiree herself with an elderly mother to care for.
Other than her stint at a special school when she was young, Yoke Sui was not enrolled in any other day care programmes. For twenty five years, she stayed at home most of the time and rarely ventured into the community. She had little exposure and knowledge of the outside world beyond the walls of her home.
Prior to the DAC, Yoke Sui had limited social interaction and rarely participated in leisure activities. Her days are enriching and meaningful after joining the DAC. A typical day at the centre involves group activities such as arts and crafts and ball games that encourage her to socialise with her friends and training officers at the centre. Routine exercises with the support from her occupational therapist and training officers help to maintain strength in her limbs.
Yoke Sui also enjoys activities organised by the volunteers – from karaoke, sports and games to community outings to Tiong Bahru Market and sightseeing trips to local attractions. A music lover, Yoke Sui is a regular face at DAC events. Although she cannot sing, her training officers would dress her up for the performance and she would wave or clap her hands along with the music.
Through the generous support and kind donations from the public and sponsors, Yoke Sui is able to attend DAC at a subsidised fee. At the centre, she is able to engage in a variety of activities which has substantially improved her quality of life, a far cry from her many years spent staying at home. Yoke Sui is now more cheerful and will make happy noises or clap her hands to show her delight.
The support of the community and the public makes it possible for SPD to continue to change lives and enable persons with disabilities to live dignified and meaningful lives.
We hope to be able to help many more like Yoke Sui who needs our help.