Another death at controversial old age home

2014-11-02 13:41

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Cape Town - Another resident from the Serendipity Old Age Home in Cape Town has died - the sixth in one month - bringing the total number of deaths in five months to 16, the Sunday Times reports.

Serendipity, owned by Sharon Roberts, made headlines last week amid claims that residents are neglected, drugged to keep them quiet and fed food past the expiry date.

The newspaper reports that there was a debate on Seredipity in legislature last week and that the Western Cape department of social development has vowed to bring criminal charges against Roberts should a probe into the unregistered home find evidence of wrongdoing.

In addition, Social Development MEC Albert Fritz said he was considering introducing an inspectorate to investigate old-age homes and abuse of the elderly.


News24 reported last week that a caregiver, a former cleaner and the daughter of a resident spoke out and said that wounds of residents were left untreated, that bedsores and scabies were common and that residents were drugged or locked in the bathroom to keep them quiet.

In one incident, a staff member was ordered to use old food that had been put down for the dog and serve it to residents.

This comes after the Democratic Alliance warned last year that several old age homes in the country were in need of repair and maintenance.

DA spokesperson Mike Waters said at the time that some of the facilities could be regarded as health and safety hazards in their present state.

"We call on the [social development] department to determine whether there is any rollover of funds in its annual budget that can be reallocated to the maintenance and repair of these facilities," he said.

Waters said if not, the department should call on the finance minister to allocate other funds to help the elderly.

He said he had written to the Human Rights Commission to investigate whether the rights of the elderly were not being violated.

"The department must ensure that it budgets sufficient funds to ensure that all old age homes are in an excellent condition and that the health and lives of the elderly are not at risk," said Waters.

Read more on:    hrc  |  cape town

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