Lodge lives on

2015-05-05 06:00

The announcement that the Sunnyside Lodge in Plumstead has earned a reprieve has been met with elation and relief.

This news follows weeks of speculation that the home for the aged would be closed due to financial constraints.

Two weeks ago families of elderly residents at the lodge were informed of the closure. Shocked by the news, one family scrambled to get their elderly mother into their home.

A woman, who asked not to be identified, said she was concerned not only for her mother, but for many of the other residents.“I am fortunate to be able to take my mother into my home, but my concern was that many of the people who live there may not have somewhere to go,” she says.

She says they received a notice on Friday 27 February that the residents must move out by the end of April.

“I was hoping that things would change and the lodge would stay open once they found a solution and I am glad it has,” she says.

Leo van Buren, a board member, says the lodge will remain open through the promise of funding to assist with monthly shortfalls for six months.

Van Buren says for a number of years the management of Sunnyside has found it financially challenging to maintain a high level of service to its elderly residents.

“Nevertheless, Sunnyside gained a good reputation in the eldercare field and through its dedicated staff met a variety of needs to the satisfaction of many residents and their families,” he says.

Van Buren says in the past Sunnyside experienced a steady inflow of funding from various sources and saw good results from their own fundraising efforts.

However, he says, times have changed as many sources have dried up, leaving Sunnyside to increasingly face hardship in keeping its doors open to the elderly.

“Sunnyside is not the only care facility facing this predicament as rising costs have far outstripped the ability of many elderly to afford even the most basic of services resulting in shortfalls that have to be augmented from other sources,” he says.

Van Buren adds that there has been a most encouraging response from residents, families and other interested parties resulting in a revived interest in the affairs of Sunnyside and a determination to seek a long-term solution to the challenges which still face the Sunnyside Lodge.

“The management board is most appreciative of this interest and plans to incorporate this into its membership and fundraising efforts,” he says.

Van Buren explains that the mission and vision of Sunnyside to care for the elderly has been carried out for more than 50 years and that “there is a sincere desire to maintain this”.

However, he adds that the challenges facing Sunnyside are not to be underestimated and any support that can be given by the society will be greatly appreciated. V

Anyone who wishes to assist or requires more information can contact Sister Lorraine Howson at Sunnyside Lodge on 021 797 0792

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