Centre for Enabled Living

The Centre for Enabled Living Ltd (CEL) is a first-stop centre for persons needing care. It makes elderly and disability care programmes more accessible by centralising referrals and matching the specific needs of individuals.
To further enable persons needing care to lead dignified lives, CEL aims to raise public awareness for a more inclusive environment and encourage greater social acceptance.

First set up in November 2008, CEL was conceived by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) as part of the national care network to coordinate care for persons needing care. CEL was also established in anticipation of the growing demand for eldercare services as well as the need to enhance the financial security of persons needing care and their caregivers.

In partnership with service providers, CEL is the first-stop centre for users of eldercare and disability services, offering information, resources and support to:

1. Persons needing care
2. Caregivers
3. Service providers and people working in the eldercare and disability care sector
4. The public at large and those seeking further insight into disability

Seed Funding

Sustainable Enhancement for Eldercare and Disability services Fund (S.E.E.D. Fund)

The S$1,000,000 Sustainable Enhancement for Eldercare and Disability services, S.E.E.D. Fund for short, is a vehicle designed to identify and address disability and eldercare issues. The S.E.E.D Fund supports new research and development initiatives which benefit and improve the lives of persons needing care and their caregivers. Through this fund, CEL promotes closer industry collaboration and the sharing of best practices and findings, thus enhancing the capabilities of service providers and strengthening the national support network.

Research areas may include the following:

  • Innovation & Technology – e.g. assistive devices that promote ageing in place;
  • Economics – e.g. initiatives which support the financial well-being of persons needing care;
  • Best Practices – e.g. enabling caregivers to better cope through proper training;
  • Built Environment – e.g. incorporating inclusive designs which consider the physical and social barriers faced by persons needing care;
  • Care & Rehabilitation – e.g. more efficient service delivery;
  • Education – e.g. through programmes that promote better understanding and social integration of persons needing care,
  • Employment – e.g. better workplace policies for persons needing care; health and knowledge building through partnerships that leverage expertise amongst others.

Evaluation Process

The CEL Research Committee consisting of CEL board members and representatives of government agencies will preside over the evaluation and approval of projects and allocated funding.

S.E.E.D. Fund evaluation criteria will be based on the potential positive impact on the lives of the elderly and disabled population, the degree of innovation within the eldercare or disabled landscape and finally the ability of the project to be self sustaining.

All Singapore-registered organisations; individuals in collaboration with Singapore-registered organisations and individuals who present ideas which meet the evaluation criteria below are eligible to apply for the S.E.E.D. Fund. Endorsement of projects will be based on the following criteria:

a. Potential positive impact on the lives of persons needing care
b. Degree of innovation within the eldercare or disabled landscape
c. Ability of the project to self-fund

CEL is proud sponsor of AWWA’s first-ever conference for caregivers

10 Dec – CEL is proud to sponsor AWWA’s first ever conference on caregiving. The 1st Singapore National Caregivers Conference will be held at the Furama RiverFront Hotel on Saturday, 27 February from 8am to 5pm.

Singapore best hotel Thepod Boutique Hotel Singapore

Themed “Empowering Family Caregivers: The Journey Starts with You!this one day conference is targeted at caregivers of a family member, relative or friend who may be elderly, disabled, chronically or mentally ill. Topics will cover managing the social, emotional and mental challenges that caregivers might encounter in their daily routine of giving care. Participants can also look forward to hands-on workshops conducted by local and international professionals.

First Eldercare Talk at Bishan Library by CEL

6 Dec 2009 – In collaboration with the National Library Board, Centre for Enabled Living organized its first Eldercare Talk at the Bishan Public Library on 5 December 2009, from 11.00am to 1.00pm. This is a public education outreach programme aimed at educating the public about eldercare living.

Almost 30 attendees from the public, voluntary welfare organizations and hospitals attended. They took the opportunity to learn practical tips from Ms Linda Foong, Senior Occupational Therapist from the Agency for Integrated Care, who demonstrated simple exercises and special techniques for dressing that elderly, recovering stroke patients can do at home independently. The attendees also benefitted in a second session by Ms Karenjit Kaur, senior staff nurse from Singapore General Hospital, who elaborated on the causes and consequences of elderly falls, the preventive measures and the assistive equipment that will make your homes a safer environment for elderly persons.

The next Eldercare Talk will be on 20 March 2010 at Tampines Public Library. 

North East CARE Fair

20 December 2009 was a significant day for the Centre for Enabled Living – it marked the organisation’s inaugural venture into a community event. Dubbed North East CARE Fair, the event featured 15 voluntary welfare organisations providing social services such as counselling, befriending, elderly and disability care, and more.

With giveaways such as calendar magnets, handheld fans and cotton candy, the CEL booth attracted visitors of different ages and races, all of whom went away with a better understanding of the organisation and its services.

Held at an open field beside Sengkang Community Hub, North East CARE Fair was organised by the North East CDC and graced by Guest of Honour Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence.

New Administrator Early Intervention Programme Registry

24 Dec – With effect from 1 January 2010, CEL will take over the administration of the Early Intervention Programme (EIP) Registry for Baby Bonus Scheme from NCSS.


1. Can I sell tissue paper in public?

No, it is not allowed in the public areas as it is a form of illegal hawking. The National Environment Agency (NEA) does not provide any permit or license to sell tissue paper.

People who solicit for money in return for packets of tissue paper can be fined for illegal hawking, according to the National Environment Agency (NEA).

It can also be considered as disguised begging, which is illegal. Under the Environmental Public Health Act, those found peddling tissue paper can be fined up to $5,000 for illegal hawking.

Repeat offenders can be fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to three months, or both. They can also be charged with begging under the Destitute Persons Act. Those convicted face a fine of up to $3,000 or up to two years in jail.

In recent times, there has been a call for the authorities to be more lenient with the elderly selling tissue paper, according to newspaper reports.

In response to news media, NEA has said that they understand some people in financial difficulties want to hawk for a living.

But they advise people to apply for street hawking licences. That would allow them to sell ice cream, canned drinks and tidbits within their town council estates or parks, the New Paper reported in Auguts 2009.

NEA can be contacted at 1800-225 5632 if you have any queries or feedback on illegal hawking.

Reference: Quek , C. (2004, December 6). Tissue peddlers on the rise here. Straits Times (Singapore). Retrieved August 18, 2009 from Factiva.com database.

Reference : Nazeer, Zubaidah (2006, Feb, 05). Tissues for tears & ears for their fears. New Paper, Retrieved 24 Aug 2009 from Factiva.com database.

 2.  I am disabled and require physical assistance in my daily activities such as dressing a wound etc. Where can I go for help? 

The Handicaps Welfare Association (HWA) has been providing personal care services to people with disabilities since February 2006. During the last two years, it has done so to more than 150 persons. The service is available islandwide to people with all ages suffering from sickness and disabilities. The programme is partly funded by National Council of Social Service VCF Fund.


Personal care service provides the following much needed assistance to clients and caregivers:
– Helping in personal routines such as bathing, dressing, toileting, feeding, transferring, etc;
– Providing required nursing care such as catheterization, wound dressing, etc;
– Providing home therapy.

For more info: http://www.hwa.org.sg/services/rehabitatIn October 2005, The New Paper reported on this new HWA scheme in an article entitled “She didn’t go out for 22 years”. Ms Sherena Loh, chairman of HWA’s rehabilitation sub-committee, was quoted as saying: “This service will allow such clients to get help without having to hire a full-time maid or nurse.”

The service was to cost between $10 and $30 per day, depending on the amount of help needed. In some cases, the service essentially enables family members to return to work to ease a family’s financial burden.“The handicapped person may also be able to lead an independent life instead of becoming too reliant on a full-time caregiver,” said Ms Loh.To find out more about the service, please call HWA at 6254 3006 or send an e-mail to [email protected]

3.  I am employing a person with physical disability in my company and I need to make some modifications like ramps and renovating the toilet to facilitate the new employee’s movements in the office. Is there any assistance scheme that I can tap on for this?

Source: MP: Just find right task for them, The New Paper, 16 February 2007, 176 words, (English)

The government has introduced schemes like the Enable Fund and provides a tax deduction of up to $100,000 for companies which modify buildings and work sites to make them accessible for workers with disabilities.

Measures such as the Enable Fund are encouraging because it helps companies like ours offset the training costs for disabled staff.

THE 14 companies that have tapped into the Enable Fund so far are Carona Fast Food, S-Team Switchgear, Pizza Hut, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Healing Spa, Main-Tech Contractors, Giordano Originals, Business Management & Resources, Studio You, NTUC Fairprice, Secret Recipe, Holistic, The Oriental Singapore, and HSBC Corporation.

Minister of State for Community Development, Youth and Sports Yu-Foo Yee Shoon said in Parliament on Monday that seven more companies are in talks with the Singapore National Employers Federation, which administers the Enable Fund.

Source: Only 22 and saddled with family bills, The New Paper, 10 March 2007, 1009 words, Genevieve Jiang, (English)

From May, the Enable Fund, introduced in July last year, will be renamed the Open Door Fund and the criteria to qualify will be revised, to help more companies redesign their workplaces or jobs for the disabled.

For more information on the Open Door Fund, please email your queries to [email protected] or call 6827 6938. A representative from Singapore National Employers Federation (SNEF) will contact you to better understand the needs of your company

4.  I would like to be involved in busking. How can I go about doing this?

All interested applicants are required to go through an audition held at the National Arts Council (NAC), in order to apply for a Letter of Endorsement.

Read more about the Busking Scheme, or contact NAC at 6746-4622.

It’s a TURF WAR out there
The New Paper, 12 February 2007, 1626 words, Joan Chew, (English)

No licences revoked so far

WITH more buskers comes more competition.

A spokesman for the statutory board that oversees the buskers, National Arts Council (NAC), said there were 141 buskers last year, up from 84 in 2001.

The peak was in 2003 when a report in The Straits Times in December 2003 noted that there were 163 active buskers that year.

The buskers’ ages range from 9 to 75 years old.

The NAC spokesman said that they have yet to revoke any busker’s licence for flouting its rules or the law in recent years.

The NAC said it acts as a mediator when conflicts arise between buskers or when complaints are made by members of the public.

So far, the most common complaints are over illegal busking or noise pollution. The spokesman said: ‘In general, NAC issues advisories to buskers who deviate from the designated busking locations or for cases of unbearable noise pollution.

‘Issues pertaining to law enforcement are handled by the police and respective authorities.’

The NAC spokesman said buskers are advised to keep reasonable distance from each other for safety reasons so as to avoid overcrowding or obstruction to pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

This is also to allow the public to enjoy various busking performances.

The NAC said most buskers do their busking in the Orchard Road area while others operate in locations such as Chinatown, Tampines and Bedok.

One reason for the increase in buskers could be the relaxing of rules in busking permits.

Over the years, the authorities have made it easier for people to take up busking, which was legalised in 1997.

Since 2001, a busker must first obtain a letter of endorsement (LOE) from the NAC. Previously, they required police permits to perform.

But buskers have to pass a prior audition to ensure the standard, originality and suitability of the performance.

The LOE will specify the proposed locations that the busker can operate in. This may be changed upon renewal of the LOE, which has to be done annually.

Since 2003, buskers also no longer have to donate their earnings to charity, which was required to ‘dispel the misconception that busking is disguised begging’.

5.  Where can I get information about rehabilitation and therapy services, clubs and support groups for the disabled?
CEL offers information and referral services through a case management model that allows for classification, needs assessment and referral to rehabilitation and therapy services offered by various service providers as well as support groups for persons with disabilities (including the frail elderly).

Besides the voluntary welfare organisations, for information on private companies offering therapy services, a good resource will be the Internet Yellow Pages. To search for therapy related services, visit [www.yellowpages.com.sg] and key in search terms such as “physiotherapy” or “rehabilitation”.

(Site last accessed 13 Aug 09)

You may also be interested referring to the following books available in the library:

Title ACSM’s exercise management for persons with chronic diseases and disabilities / American College of Sports Medicine.
Other Title Exercise management for persons with chronic diseases and disabilities
Publisher Champaign, Ill. : Human Kinetics, c2003.
Call No.: English 615.82 ACS

Title Evaluating, selecting, and using appropriate assistive technology / [edited by] Jan C. Galvin, Marcia J. Scherer.
Publisher Austin : Pro-Ed, 2004.
Call No.: English 617.03 EVA

Title Helping children with nonverbal learning disabilities to flourish : a guide for parents and professionals / Marilyn Martin ; foreword by Michele Berg.
Author Martin, Marilyn, 1952-
Publisher London : Jessica Kingsley, 2007

6.  Can you give me a list of organizations providing recreational and sports activities for the disabled?
1) “These activities promote health and well-being through physical training/activities that provide opportunities for social interaction and positive learning experiences…”

2) “The Singapore Disability Sports Council (SDSC) brings the Learn To Play (LTP) programme to encourage disabled individuals to enjoy sports as recreation and pursue a healthy lifestyle…”

3) “The Sports Sub-Committee has been actively promoting and developing various sporting activities for the members for many years. These activities include wheelchair tennis, wheelchair basketball, swimming, archery and wheelchair fencing…”

4) “Sports Programme”

Related Website
5) “This compilation highlights disabled people who have pushed their personal limits, the Paralympics and websites illustrating the inclusiveness of sports for all”

In addition to this,

6) You may also like to read newsletter publication related to handicap issues by The Handicap Welfare Association at the following website:“The Handicap Welfare Association was founded to encourage and foster the ideals of self-help and mutual assistance among the disable and to promote their welfare…”

www.hwa.org.sg/hwa ; last accessed on 13/08/09

There are also other activities available for the disables. You may also refer to the following Straits Times articles via our eDatabase Factiva accessible at all public libraries: http://eresources.nlb.gov.sg/index.aspx ; last accessed on 13/08/09.

eDatabase (Factiva)
Keyword search: Handicap* and Activit* and Singapore

7) Singapore
It’s hip to help out and it can be fun, too, 13 June 2009, Straits Times
STIMES (c) 2009 Singapore Press Holdings Limited

“L’Oreal Singapore has chosen to teach grooming skills to the visually handicapped in a project called Touching Colours. Through it, at least 3,030 visually impaired children and adults from Lighthouse School and the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped are expected to be taught proper skin care, make-up techniques and hairstyling skills. This project is set to start in August. It will be an ongoing activity conducted by Special Education teachers from Lighthouse School who have been trained by L’Oreal trainers…For more information, call Mr Jacob Toh on 9026-1710…”

You may wish to refer to the following books for further readings on disabilities and sports/recreation.Books
8) Title: Learning disabilities : A to Z : A parent’s complete guide to learning disablilities from preschool to adulthood
Author: Corinne Smith
Call number: English 371.926 SMI

9) Title: It’s so much work to be your friend : helping the child with learning disabilities find social success
Author: Richard Lavoie
Call number: English 371.9 LAV

You may also browse at our recreation shelves under 791.196 [REC] available at all public libraries on related topics to disabilities and recreations.

7.  I need to rent a wheelchair / get my wheelchair repaired. Where can I get assistance?

There are also some wheelchair-repair related articles for your reading interest.

From the Straits Times – (c) 1999 Singapore Press Holdings Limited

1) Foreign volunteers eligible for award. Dated 5 November 1999

“THE social services of foreigner volunteers in Singapore will now be recognised by the Life Insurance Association (LIA)….

The LIA award is given to individual volunteers or groups that have made quality contribution to society. The winners are pre-selected through nominations and judged by a panel.

Over the last 10 years, the awards have been bestowed on well-profiled volunteers like 100-year-old Miss Teresa Hsu, who founded the Elderly Home for the Aged Sick and the Society of the Physically Disabled Wheelchair Repair Service.”

2) When winning medals is a family affair. By Tan Hsueh Yun and Chua Mui Hoong. Dated 9 November 1997On the National Day Awards given…

“… One of those recognised for his work with the disabled was Mr Mark Chan Weng Onn, president of the Society for Aid to the Paralysed.

The audience broke out in loud applause as he wheeled himself on stage in his wheelchair to receive his Public Service Medal.

He said: “More important is the work behind the medal, and the countless people who worked as a team.”
He had helped set up an S$8-million centre for the society that runs a sheltered production workshop, a day activity centre and a social service centre, and also offers wheelchair repair.”

3) Wheel winner. By Ginnie Teo. Dated 1 April 1999

“TUCKED away off the main road in Tiong Bahru is a workshop that has become well-known among disabled people who use wheelchairs. Here, on the fourth floor of the Society for the Physically Disabled headquarters, about 10 volunteers run a wheelchair repair workshop on Saturday afternoons.

It is run like a car workshop, but the service is free. Yesterday, the volunteers who run the two-year-old outfit received top honours in the group category of the Life Insurance Association’s annual volunteers award….”

For more information, you may login to the National Library’s <eResources> Factiva(R) database under www.pl.sg

In addition, there are some wheelchair-related books and stories that may be on interest to you.

Title: Some kids use wheelchairs / by Lola M. Schaefer.
Author: Schaefer, Lola M., 1950-
Publisher Mankato, Minn. : Capstone Press, c2008.
Contents: Why kids use wheelchairs — Being active — Everyday life — Glossary — Read more — Internet sites — Index. Summary Simple text and illustrations discuss the challenges of being in a wheelchair, why some children cannot walk, and how those who use a wheelchair function at school and at play.
Call no.: JP English 362.4 SCH

Title: Best friend on wheels / Debra Shirley ; illustrated by Judy Stead.
Author: Shirley, Debra.
Publisher Morton Grove, Ill. : Albert Whitman & Co., 2008.
Summary: A young girl relates all the ways she and her best friend, Sarah, are alike, in spite of the fact that Sarah uses a wheelchair.
Call no.: JP English SHI

Title: Let’s talk about being in a wheelchair / Melanie Ann Apel.
Author: Apel, Melanie Ann.
Publisher New York, N.Y.: Rosen Pub. Group’s PowerKids Press, 2002
Contents: Maisy — What is a wheelchair? — Who uses a wheelchair? — Famous people in wheelchairs — Everyday people in wheelchairs — Wheelchair access — Wheelchair sports — New to a wheelchair — Getting in and out — Your wheelchair is your friend.
Call no.: J English 617 APE

Title: Extraordinary friends / Fred Rogers ; photographs by Jim Judkis.
Author: Rogers, Fred.
Publisher New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, c2000.
Summary: Focuses on people who are different, who might use equipment such as wheelchairs or special computers, who are more like you than you might think, and suggests ways to interact with them.
Call no.: JP English 362.4 ROG

You might also enjoy