‘Enough is enough’ - elderly residents

2018-06-29 06:01

ELDERLY people who have been residing in Elonwabeni Old Age Home in Kokstad believe that the old age home has been turned into a place of torture.

Speaking to the Fever, residents described their living conditions as “miserable” and “torturous” adding that their families brought them to the home to live a much better life than what they were experiencing.

On Monday morning, they occupied the Greater Kokstad Municipality mayor’s office unannounced with the aim of seeking help.

“The mayor told them that he cannot intervene at the home however he will be writing a letter to the Department of Social Development for intervention,” said municipal spokeswoman Nthabeleng Matshoba.

“On Sunday night there was no electricity at the home and staff had to use candles until one of staff members bought electricity from her pocket money.

“Every month we pay a R1 000 fee but the home is failing to buy electricity,” said a frustrated Samson Mdiya (70) who has been residing at the home for the past seven years.

He added that government must intervene by employing the right people to run the institution smoothly.

He said that when he arrived at the home in 2011, elderly people were treated like “kings” and “queens”.

“In 2011, we were given the right food, pocket money and even taken to various places for fun.

“We felt like we were living in heaven,” added Mdiya, another elderly resident who went to the mayor’s office.

“Now we were given pap and soup and tea without bread in the morning and we don’t like that.

“We have been silent for such a long time, and now we appealing to government to listen to us.

“We are staying at the home for various reasons and we don’t want to be treated badly,” said another elder, Nomsa Mpompi (70), who arrived at the home in 2014.

TheFeverwas informed that another resident got sick on Sunday night and nurses who were on duty treated her in the dark until an ambulance took her to hospital.

R600 worth of pocket money, that was supposed to be given to residents earlier this month, was not delivered.

Staff members who were supposed to get their salaries last Friday were not paid.

Dirty laundry was also piling up in the home’s laundry room due to there being no electricity to do laundry.

When the Feverasked to speak to a manager, staff members said the home has no manager and everything was controlled by board members. Board chairperson Mzwandile Dlamini refused to give comment.

As was reported last Friday, the Department of Social Development said a plan to address issues at the institution was being developed and implementations were being monitored.

The department also confirmed that it only recognised the old board, which was elected last year at the home, after some people came forward claiming to be the new board.

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