Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Fabric painters add colour to their lives

Mariana Duvenage (right) with fabric art instructor, Jacqueline Cloete.

Some fabric, bright pots of paint and creative minds is all it takes to create a little magic at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre.

Over the past months, residents have enjoyed regular fabric paintings sessions under the guidance of instructor Jacqueline Cloete. Jacqueline says that they have made tremendous progress since they first started and they are now keen to learn more and to learn new techniques.

Before joining the class, they were used to doing, what Jacqueline calls, ‘colouring-in painting’ but over the past several months, they have been learning how to use the technique of shading, to give shape and form to their paintings and to make the subjects look more real.

They have created hand-painted cushions, shopping bags, placemats, tray cloths and even tablecloths. Some of the residents have enjoyed giving away their creations to their children, and were delighted to paint Christmas-themed gifts for their families and friends.

Resident Mariana Duvenage says that she had never painted before in her life, and now, as she heads towards her eighth decade, she has found a hobby that she loves and which brings her so much joy.  She is grateful that she has been given the opportunity to learn and to pursue her new passion at the Ron Smith Care Centre.

Lorraine Lowden.

Hilary Sidelsky with her beautiful painting of cats.

Close up of Hilary’s painting

Spreading the love at the care centre

Zina Rosen gives her husband, Joe, a Valentine’s kiss.

The residents and staff at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre had not one but two days of celebration for the season of love! 

On Valentine’s Day, they spent the morning listening to the beautiful piano music of Martin Lane, who came appropriately dressed in a red fedora and red braces. He played many of their favourite evergreen songs which they thoroughly enjoyed. hen just before lunch, they were surprised by the care centre’s Activities Team, who went from room to room dishing out Valentine’s greetings, chocolates and hugs to all 150 residents.

Two days later, it was time for the Valentine’s Tea held in the hall which was gaily decorated with strings of red and pink hearts and pots of heart-shaped flowers which were made by staff and residents in the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day.

Volunteer Dara Migliore generously treated everyone to a wonderful selection of delicious cakes: red velvet, Bar One, Peppermint Crisp and carrot cake. And even after the cake, the residents still had space for the scones and donuts also on offer!
It was a very ‘sweet’ day, filled with lots of love and laughter.

Ken Cokayne, Dorothea Bekker and Lou Mer.

Mariana Duvenage, Dorothea Bekker and Lorraine Lowden.

Irene Watson, Dorothea Bekker and Dolly Luke.

Irene Nyadzane gives a delighted Gordon Ross a sweet Valentine’s kiss, while Elizabeth Peterson waits her turn.

Sipho Dube and Christine Kincaid-Smith.

Ellen Prinsloo. 

Priscilla Dlamini and Lorna Topp.

Gladys Rosenberg (middle) with her nephew Gary, who lives in Toronto, Canada, and her niece Sandy Smith.

Maria Roberts, Elizabeth Peterson, Halina Malujlo, Sue van der Neut, Bianca Richards, Janice Costigan, Pam Martins, Barbara Wapnick, Joan Patton and Lee-Ann Ramathibela feel the love.

Sarah Richards and Enzo Merolla all dressed in their Valentine’s Day finery.

Merle Uys, Marisa Sabato and Maria Roberts.

Jane Hart-Davis and Irene Nyadzane.

Marisa Sabato and Ros Benjamin.

Friday, 12 January 2018

Heart-warming Christmas celebrations at care centre

On December 19, there was a flurry of activity at the Ron Smith Care Centre as final preparations were made for the Christmas party to be held the following day. The decorations were up, the cutlery was polished, the tables were laid, the pretty Christmas tree centre-pieces with angels, garland and tinsel were placed, and a final staff practice of the Christmas entertainment was held.

The care centre staff, all dressed in red and white and wearing Santa hats, began the celebrations with a procession into the hall, singing Silent Night. They continued with the carols: Once in Royal David’s City, Away in a Manger, Jingle Bells, Mary’s Boy Child and a rousing Joy to the World. Then it was the residents’ turn to sing along to lovely piano music by volunteer, Jean Johnson, as she played some of their favourites: Hark the Herald Angels Sing, The Drummer Boy and We wish you a Merry Christmas, amongst others.

Following the singing, there was a special performance by staff, who acted out the lyrics to The 12 Days of Christmas. As an introduction, Debbie Christen,  Rand Aid’s Manager: Recreational Programmes, reminded the audience that this old English carol was actually about a love-sick gentleman plying his sweetheart with a series of gifts which increase in quantity and volume over each of the 12 days.

The Ron Smith Care Centre staff’s comical interpretation of this old fashioned song brought smiles of delight and laughter, as they recognised those representing the 12 drummers drumming, the 11 pipers piping, 10 lords a leaping, nine ladies dancing, eight milk maids milking, seven swans a swimming, six geese a laying, five golden rings, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves and a partridge in a pear tree!

Next was a surprise visit by Santa Claus (aka volunteer Dave Stewart), whose arrival was heralded with the jingle of sleigh bells and a very loud, “Ho Ho Ho – Merry Christmas”. He handed out Sweetie Pies to all the residents, with the help of his two elves. The Christmas programme wrapped up with staff and residents singing to Feliz Navidad, with the staff dancing around the hall, wishing everyone a Merry Christmas.

The residents then moved across to the dining room for a lovely Christmas lunch, which consisted of a Salmon mousse starter, followed by roast sirloin of beef and lamb, roast potatoes, and vegetables. A lovely sherry trifle rounded off the delicious meal.

Care centre resident Gordon Ross summed up the celebration by saying: “I don’t think that I have ever attended anything before, where people enjoyed themselves like that... to be a part of this was very heart-warming.”

International recognition for Rand Aid

South Africa’s Rand Aid Association – based in Lyndhurst – has been recognised in a World Health Organisation (WHO) report on the development of long-term care systems in sub-Saharan Africa.

WHO’s report, ‘Towards long-term care systems in sub-Saharan Africa’, lists Rand Aid in a section titled ‘Innovative approaches for delivering organised care’. It includes Rand Aid’s financial model as a possible pathway to promote sustainability, equity and accessible care. At the same time it recognises the importance of the organisation’s person-centred approach to improve the dignity of care dependent older persons.

The report reads: ‘Rand Aid is a registered non-profit-making organisation that serves a dual purpose: it provides a range of upscale retirement accommodation and long-term care to older people who can afford it. This generates a source of income that is used to assist other older people in need.

‘Currently, around 1 800 older people reside in Rand Aid properties, including approximately 360 who live in long-term care (frail care) facilities.

‘Units in these retirement villages are sold on the life rights concept. Residents buy the right to live in the village and they (or their estate) receive 80% of the initial purchase price when they depart. In addition, residents pay a monthly fee for services that are available to them.

‘Villages offer housing, 24-hour security, nursing care, garden and domestic services, physiotherapy and podiatry. Every effort is made to ensure that residents’ needs are met. At one of Rand Aid’s two long-term facilities, residents pay for their board and lodge in full. The other facility receives a small government subsidy but is funded mainly by the organisation through a cross-subsidy of a portion of the 20% of the life rights purchase price.

‘Long-term care facilities offer multi-disciplinary and personalised care to those who need help in order to maintain their functional ability. The facilities have adopted the Eden Alternative philosophy, which aims to transform traditional, institutionalised long-term care facilities into human habitats.’

In December 2016, Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre became the first organisation in Gauteng – and the second in Africa – to become a member of Eden Alternative South Africa registry. It is thus gratifying to note that the WHO report makes particular note of the centre’s care philosophy: 

‘Based on the principles of person-centred care, the facilities emphasise freedom of choice for all residents. Older people and their families are involved in care planning and residents are encouraged and enabled to exercise autonomy in their day-to-day lives to the maximum extent possible.

‘Integrated care teams of nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, occupational therapists, medical doctors (on call), recreation officers and volunteers provide a range of services to residents in these facilities.

‘The full-pay long-term care facility is located within one of the retirement villages, thus enabling ageing in place, if residents’ care needs increase over time. This facility also features a specialised dementia unit. The subsidised long-term care facility, which is also situated in spacious grounds, accommodates 180 older people in particular need of 24-hour nursing care.’

The WHO report recognises that Rand Aid, being over 100 years old, has demonstrated financial sustainability and that the cross-subsidisation model requires careful financial balance between its income-generating activities and its charity work.

In response to Rand Aid’s inclusion in the report, the CEO, Rae Brown, said that this is an excellent recognition of the efforts of the organisation to provide sustainable care to older persons across the income spectrum and to ensure that the principles of dignity and respect are enhanced through a person-centred approach.

Friday, 15 December 2017

Christmas family tea at Ron Smith Care Centre

Jill Jones, a resident on Ron Smith Care Centre’s Woodlands wing, writes:
Sister Gwen conceived the excellent idea of a Christmas family tea for the residents of Woodlands, to be held on Sunday afternoon, December 3, 2018.
A residents meeting was called and the idea discussed and agreed upon with enthusiasm, about 2 1/2 weeks before the due date.
The function was to be held in front of Woodlands on the verandah and lawn, with chairs, tables and umbrellas used where necessary.
Residents were invited to submit names and numbers of family members, or friends, who would like to attend, and invitations were sent out, one per family. Each family was asked to bring a plate of eats, and anything else they would like to drink, apart from tea, coffee or juice, which would be provided here.
Staff formed a choir to sing carols, and a Boney M CD was found with Christmas carols on it as a guide and background support.
Rehearsals began immediately.
Sunday was a perfect day, and Sr Gwen and the nurses worked so hard setting up tables and umbrellas. Christmas decorations on the tables. As well as red swathed cloths on green and white cloths and overlays gave the whole area a very festive atmosphere.
The hugely successful event began at 2pm and the last guests left after 4 pm. The carols had been sung, and a surprise piper arrived and piped a few tunes, including Scotland the Brave, and Amazing Grace.
After the guests had departed the great clean up began, and most was done by supper time.
We all enjoyed the afternoon immensely, residents and visitors alike, and all our grateful thanks go to Sr Gwen for being the driving force behind it all and working so hard.
She really cares for us and always has our interests and welfare at heart. She is so appreciated.