New wing for the frail

2016-02-09 06:00
Rubble removed from the new wing for terminally ill patients at the Beaconvale frail care centre is a reminder of the work that has gone into the renovation of the once empty space. Inset: Solomon Philander, a ward councillor and advisory facility board member, opens the door to the facility for the first time before handing the keys to the matron. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

Rubble removed from the new wing for terminally ill patients at the Beaconvale frail care centre is a reminder of the work that has gone into the renovation of the once empty space. Inset: Solomon Philander, a ward councillor and advisory facility board member, opens the door to the facility for the first time before handing the keys to the matron. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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A new wing for treating terminally ill patients at the Beaconvale frail care centre has been launched.

In an effort to help the elderly die in peace and dignity, facility manager Raymond Mitchell got the ball rolling. An existing, unused space attached to the facility was renovated.

Work started late last year and the building was officially launched on Wednesday last week.

“This is a wonderful day of blessings for myself and my team,” said Mitchell at the launch.

“for six months I brainstormed after seeing the need for a facility like this.”

He adds there are thousands of patients on a waiting list who would like to live at the centre and there was a need for a wing dedicated to the care of terminally ill patients.

Solomon Philander, ward councillor for the area and a recently co-opted facility board member, congratulated the facility management on the successful completion of the project.

“This is a milestone for the facility and a needed extension of services. This is a humble job and I would like to thank the staff for their passion in ensuring our frail live and die in dignity,” he said.

The facility was once the offices of a physiotherapist.

Mitchell tells People’s Post they did not have the financial means to build a completly new building and found the once open space the perfect location for the development of a new wing.

The section includes a wheelchair-friendly bathroom, kitchen, lounge and two wards. It will accommodate up to seven people. The residents will also have 24-hour care.

The first two residents have already moved in.

Mitchell says it is important that the families have privacy to mourn and properly say goodbye to their loved ones, a big motivation for establishing the wing.

“At the moment the current wards do not allow for privacy. What we want is that if we call a family in at 02:00, they have privacy to say goodbye to their loved ones,” says Mitchell.V

Mitchell says the wing will be open to all residents.
“We will decide to move patients over to the wing on the recommendation of the doctors and those who are on their last,” he says.
Philander, who has helped the facility before he was a councillor, says he will continue to offer support to the facility and pay special attention to its needs.
The facility has been around for 20 years, and Philander commends the team for making positive changes.
“When people come to me and complain about the frail care centre I send them back and tell them to have a look at what is happening at the centre. The elderly cannot afford to live in lavish homes in Constantia, but I can say they are equally cared for here,” he says.
He urges residents to continue to support and look after the centre as it could be them needing its help in the future.
Mitchell agrees.
He further says they are always in need of volunteers.
“People can always give their time. Time costs nothing and is so important. The older persons long for conversation,” he tells People’s Post.
Other needs include fresh produce, toiletries and transportation.
The facility also recently reopened its daycare centre.
The frail care centre accommodates 50 seniors and is based next to the new wing.
The facility is used for people who need help looking after their mothers and fathers while they are at work.

For more information on how to get involved or about the daycare call 021 376 1440.


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