SAVF old age home needs assistance

2016-11-23 06:00

THERE are many ways you might picture an elderly person, but in an old age home, without sufficient funding to cover basic living costs, is not one of them.

This is the predicament that resident’s of the Suid-Afrikaanse Vrouefederasie (SAVF) Pietermaritzburg old age home find themselves in.

Residents at the SAVF are considered “the poorest of the poor” according to Mariana Bothma, manager of the SAVF home.
First established as the NCVV in the late 1950s, it merged with SAVF in 2004. There are currently 104 residents, 95% of whom are either in wheelchairs or require frail care.
The majority of the resident’s families are either unemployed, thus unable to assist their elderly relatives, or are uninterested in being involved. This places a great burden on the SAVF to adequately care for their resident’s many needs.

Speaking to Bothma, the priority costs include food, cleaning, 24-hour nursing care and facilities, medical care, medication, toiletries and transport. As a means to cover these expenses, the home receives the state pensions owing to their residents, on their behalf, government subsidies for a number of the residents and some funding from the Community Chest.
In addition to these, the home also receives a small income from their shop on the premises, selling unused or unsuitable, donated clothing. A few minor donors also fund the home, but there are no consistent sources of sufficient funding.
The home hosts various fund-raising events such as golf days, dinners and fêtes, however, these do not raise significant amounts. Therefore the SAVF organisation at large is required to cover the outstanding costs.

Despite these limitations, SAVF is “trying [its] best to give [residents] everything they need,” says Bothma and as a result of this, a 99-year-old resident said she was happy at the home.

The current unit cost to maintain the basic needs of residents is approximately R5 400 per person a month. The current income, as stated above, is insufficient. More specifically, the greatest financial challenge for the SAVF home is to keep ahead of the cost of nappies and toiletries.
Assistance from the community in this area would be welcome. All donations are received transparently and SAVF is totally accountable for all incoming funds, ensuring they are put to good use.

To make contributions of any kind, contact head of household Anzel Dollenberg on email
adollenberg@telkomsa or phone 033 342 8455.

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