Alzheimer’s SA’s mission is vast

2016-04-12 06:00
Photo: supplied Rose Toyer who is a carer doing a presentation at our World Alzheimer’s Day event at Mount Edgecombe Country Club.

Photo: supplied Rose Toyer who is a carer doing a presentation at our World Alzheimer’s Day event at Mount Edgecombe Country Club.

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ALZHEIMER’S South Africa is a non-profit-organisation with a national office in Johannesburg and branches in various parts of the Upper Highway area and Pinetown. Alzheimer’s SA regional director, Sara Benade, said the KwaZulu-Natal branches were established in 1992 and covers the whole of KwaZulu-Natal.

“Our mission is to create public awareness and provide support and assistance with respect to all matters pertaining to Alzheimer’s and dementia through the development and provision of relevant information, education and training programmes as well as support services.

“We are based in Pinetown with a branch in Pietermaritzburg. We currently have nine staff members, namely two social workers - one in Pinetown, one in Pietermaritzburg - two community development workers, dementia trainers, training co-ordinator, admin clerk, regional director and a general worker.”

The organisation offers various services such as counselling and an information service. “Our social workers and community development workers are actively involved in telephonic and office interviews as well as home visits. They provide the families with information relating to all matters pertaining to the development of the disease as well as ways to manage the home situation. “The day dementia training programme includes one, two and a four-day caring courses. We are in the process of concluding our dementia training roll-out for the protection of the elderly in KwaZulu-Natal. As part of the roll-out we have trained social and social auxiliary workers from Age-in-Action as well as Department of Social Development to become dementia trainers and we are training the trainers and co-ordinators from the Department of Health to become dementia trainers.”

Alzheimer’s SA involves itself in community projects in KwaNgcolosi, upper and lower Molweni, Shongweni Dam area. “Our community development workers are actively involved in visiting clients and their families and assisting them to understand and manage the disease. They also do talks and run support groups.

“We also have 13 support groups across the province for the carers of a person with dementia. These groups meet once a month and provide a safe environment for carers and family members to support and learn from each other.

“We also do presentations to any group or organisation requesting information and hold special events which include organising World Alzheimer’s Day, awareness events and fund-raising events. “We do not charge for our services with the exception of training to private nursing homes or groups who can afford to pay for the training.

“We are dependent on donations from trusts, foundations and the public to be able to continue rendering services.” For more information, phone 031 702 4321.

- Supplied.

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