Women open a safe haven for the elderly

2016-06-28 06:00
 Photo: nosipho mkhize Zibambeleni Old Age Home members Wellington Mthembu, Dr Mthembu, CT Nzimande and BB Zuma.

Photo: nosipho mkhize Zibambeleni Old Age Home members Wellington Mthembu, Dr Mthembu, CT Nzimande and BB Zuma.

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A GROUP of concerned Clermont women started a society in 1964 after seeing the need to help the elderly, and called it the Zibambeleni Clermont Women’s Society.

Board member Dr Mthembu said the founders were touched when they saw an elderly street man trying to survive during apartheid and gathered support from women in the area and surrounds to assist in providing a shelter and protection for the old man.

Society members decided that there was an urgent need for an old-age home that would cater for the elderly in the community.

“An old-age home was built in 1979 with donations received from Rotary Club New Germany and Westville, and in June 1980 the first residents were admitted, and on 30 August the home was officially opened.

“The home could accommodate elderly 132 residents, however, they became frail and required 24-hour care, protection and support, so the need for a frail-care unit was identified and in 1990 it was built.

“The home was registered as an NPO with the Department of Social Development. Besides providing shelter for elderly and vulnerable people it also created job opportunities for unemployed citizens in the area. Our vision was to create and maintain a friendly and safe environment to meet health and social needs of all old and disabled people in the home and also alleviate poverty in the community through projects.

“Our mission is to assist aged, disabled and frail individuals in the community by providing excellent care for them where they are looked after by competent staff who boost their morale and make them feel important so that when they died they will die with dignity.

“We also assist the community through poverty alleviation and empower them to sustain their lives through knitting, gardening, sewing, computer literacy and baking projects.

“The home’s goal is to ensure that residents live in a safe and secure environment and are excellently taken care of, fulfilling the basic needs of vulnerable elderly people and ensure that they get the best medical attention.

“We provide health care services, provision of shelter, 24-hour physical care and protection, health talks, occupational, physiotherapist, mind stimulation games, Bible study, story-telling, board games, physical activities, inter-generational programmes, social work services, awareness campaigns, group and case work, screening and an admission process. Since we are an NPO we depend solely on donations tomake the lives of our residents a joy.”

For more information phone 031 707 1410/3625 or email zoah@telkomsa.net.

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