Thursday, 2 November 2017

Letter of gratitude from family of former resident

27 October 2017

Dear Ron Smith Care Centre management and staff

RE: Gratitude for care of Margaret Cohen

This is just a note to express our sincere thanks to so many people at Elphin Lodge and Ron Smith Care Centre for their kindness and care of our mother, Margaret Cohen, in the weeks and days leading up to her passing.

Mom lived at Elphin Lodge for many years and as her health deteriorated, it was an enormous comfort to her – and to us – to know that even though she continued to live in her flat, help was just a call away.

After her last illness which resulted in her being in ICU for 35 days and in hospital for a further seven days, she was admitted to Ron Smith Care Centre’s River Lodge One.

We were blown away by the quality of the nursing care, the incredible compassion shown to her by every single person there – from the cleaning staff and nurse aides right through to the two amazing sisters – Sister Lianne and Sister Tilly.

Our father, Max Cohen, also spent his last days in River Lodge One some eight years ago. The contrast to what it was like then, and what it is like today, is incredible. Through your  Eden Alternative journey, the place has been transformed into a warm and homely environment. The pretty flowers in the bathrooms, the thoughtful messages and pictures on the walls contribute to this – but most of all it is the caring, friendly attitude of the staff, that makes such a difference. Mom was so appreciative of this loving care – and so were we.

We also truly appreciated the way Sister Lianne and Sister Tilly kept us constantly informed about her condition; the way they personally kept checking in on her, especially during her final days and hours; and for their compassion and caring for us, during her final hours and afterwards.

We’d also like to thank the admin team at Elphin – Phyllis Phillips, Auriel Wittert, the maintenance staff and so many more – for assisting us after mom’s passing with so many things: from the setting up of prayers in the clubhouse to assisting us with clearing her flat.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

Kind regards,

Barbara Baetu, Marilyn de Villiers and Jenny Michaeli (from New Zealand)

Ghouls and witches come to tea

Elaine van Heerden and Sarah Richards with some of the spooky table decorations that were lovingly made by residents.

With the month of October being known as the Month of the Elders, residents from Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre were treated to a lovely tea with a Halloween theme on October 26.
In the week before the event, the residents were busy in the activity centre, making table decorations to create a fun, Halloween atmosphere. Pumpkin lanterns, flying bats and witch party hats were the order of the day.        
After a delicious tea of quiche, sausage rolls and cream scones, the tables were pushed back so that the residents could dance away the afternoon.

Monday, 2 October 2017

Heritage Month at RSCC

Celebrating our diverse heritages through dance

Heritage speaks of who you are, where you come from and where you are going.

September is a month when all of South Africa celebrates the country’s rich diversity in art, history, customs, traditions, language and food, and as we all know, we are a rhythmic country and there is no celebration in South Africa without music and dance!

Weeks before the Heritage Celebrations at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre, residents were excitedly making themselves head bands which were designed with their name and the country of their origin. Although the majority of residents have a South African background, there were representatives from Italy, Portugal, Germany, Holland, Lithuania, Latvia, Indonesia, England, Scotland, Ireland, Canada, Israel, Namibia and Zambia, giving the whole day a universal feel. Colourful flags from all over the world were made in the OT Activity Centre and were used as centrepieces for the gaily decorated tables.

Then on Friday, September 22, the community at Ron Smith Care Centre gathered outdoors in their numbers to celebrate, through music and dance, the richness and diversity of cultures represented at the care centre. Seated in the lovely shade of gazebos and umbrellas, residents and visitors were treated to a cultural dance spectacle performed by various staff from housekeeping, nursing, kitchen and gardening services, who were all beautifully attired in their various national dress.

The dance programme took the audience around the world and included a  traditional Sepedi dance called Step, several Middle Eastern belly dances, the folk dance Tarentella from Italy, traditional cultural dances by the Shangaan, Tshonga, and Venda (Xibelani), Zulu and Xhosa groups, a Spanish Line dance (Ah Si) , and an Israeli folk dance called Nigun Atik. Then it was on to Austria where the staff scattered into the audience and danced with the seated residents to a beautiful Viennese waltz. The show ended with the whole care centre community being invited to join in the last dance to music by the well-known group Malaika.

The cultural dance show was followed by a traditional South African braai which included boerewors, chicken, salads, pap and gravy, and was nicely finished off with an Eskimo Pie, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Debbie Christen, Rand Aid’s Manager: Recreational Programmes, commented: “Music and dance have a way of bringing people together through the sheer joy of music and movement. It truly is a universal language and tends to create a wonderful feeling of unity and harmony.” 

Many of the residents remarked that it was a joyous celebration and that they have a new awareness and appreciation for the diversity of cultures in South Africa. They were also interested to learn more about the cultural identities of their neighbours.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Little actors delight Ron Smith Care Centre residents

 There were ‘aahs’ of delight when a band of children aged between three and nine years put on a play for residents of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre on September 14.

The children from the Arrows Homeschool Group also recited some poetry. The play they performed was called, ‘In the Garden’, which is based on the classic Russian folk tale, ‘The Enormous Turnip’. It is a progressive story in which a grandfather plants a turnip which grows so large that he cannot pull it up himself. He asks the grandmother for help but they still can’t pull it up. More people and animals are successively recruited to help (a little girl, a little boy, a dog, a cat and, finally, a mouse). 

The humour and moral of the story is that only with the help of the mouse, (the smallest and weakest creature, could the giant turnip finally be pulled up. 

The sweet little actors and actresses gave a wonderful performance which was enjoyed very much by all at the care centre.

The cast of ‘The Enormous Turnip’, with residents from Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre.

From left to right: Jasmine Banks, Thomas Hicken, Nathan Very, Benjamin Banks, Ruth Hicken, Amber Banks and Aryc Holgate.

BELOW: How cute are these little ones?

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Spa Days at Ron Smith Care Centre

Manicures, make up and massages were the order of the day at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre to celebrate Women’s Month.

To ensure that the 80 residents who had booked could be accommodated, two full days were devoted to these spa sessions in the OT Activity Centre on August 21 and 22. Dis-Chem Foundation very kindly donated nail polish in a variety of colours, scented hand creams and other nail care supplies.

The care workers on each of the six wings were asked to pair up with a resident and treat them to a morning of relaxation and pampering.

“It was wonderful to offer this opportunity for care workers and residents to interact and bond with each other in this special way. The therapeutic benefit of touch is well known, not to mention the fact that freshly polished nails and a bit of lipstick can really lift your spirits!” says Debbie Christen, Manager: Recreational Programmes.   

On the first Spa Day, some students from St Benedict’s College and Assumption Convent came to help with the day’s activities. Those residents who had the privilege of having their nails painted by them were absolutely delighted, especially when they received personal caring attention from the male students!

On the second Spa Day, care centre volunteers came to assist and were also on hand to pamper the care workers and other staff.

Everyone enjoyed the day and all were happy to give as well as receive a bit of TLC – something that is always appreciated.

Lisa Mtshali and Ursula Northern.

 Eleanor Motsepe and Charity Maburutse.

 Irene Droste and Lucy Kgafela.

 Dolly Luke, Salina Mtshali, Elizabeth Peterson and Lynette Saville.

 Volunteer Ethel Ramahuma and Betty Haughton.

Marie Diesel and St Benedict’s College student Brandon Janse van Vuuren.

St Benedict’s College student Rui Ferreira with Bernice Goldman.

 Ndifelani Mavhila and Winsome Green.

Corrie Wolhuter looking very relaxed as she is treated to a manicure from Lee-Ann Ramathibela.

Elaine van Heerden:  look at my lovely nails!

Volunteer Helen Dix and June Smith.

Julia Mali and Margaret Richardson.

Beulah Ganesh and Cecily Ryder.

Joyce Mabowa and Pamela Mintz.

Sonja Dikken.

Val Glanvill.

Susan Esbend and Hentie Benson.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

A girls’ day in at Ron Smith Care Centre

What’s a tea in the care centre without a little dancing? Kaylee Antonopoulos, Hannah von Aulock, Cassidy McKinon and Claire Lourens dance up a storm at Ron Smith Care Centre.

Dancing, smiles and sweet treats were the order of the day when learners from Edenvale’s Holy Rosary School Catholic day school for girls spent time on August 17 with residents of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre.

The girls arrived at the care centre bearing lots of delicious treats: home-made lemon meringue pie, chocolate chip biscuits, cupcakes, red velvet cake and muffins. They were joined by a few occupational therapy students from Wits University, who were on a three-week practicum at the care centre. 

After tea was served, it was time for dancing. The event brought smiles and joy to the residents.

Cynthia Dlangamandia and Alison Whittaker.

Claire Lourens, Cassidy McKinon, Hannah von Aulock and Kaylee Antonopoulos.

Jill Jones, Hannah von Aulock, Phillip Chandler, Kaylee Antonopoulos, Claire Lourens, Molly Matroos and Cassidy McKinon.

Mado Ndelela and Beulah Leor-Lever.

Lorraine Lowden, Christina van Rooyen and Etienne Geyser.

Occupational therapist student Savannah van der Mast has a chat with resident  Dolly Luke.

Friday, 28 July 2017

Care centre’s Rainbow Colours Day and Happy Hour

Dolly Luke and Peggy Roberts. Peggy was awarded the prize for Best Dressed/Most Colourful Female Resident.

On Wednesday, July 26, the Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre was a hive of activity. In preparation for the rainbow-themed Happy Hour to be held later that evening, residents and staff baked delicious cake pops and glazed them in all seven colours of the rainbow. 

Then the main dining room was magically transformed into a kaleidoscope of brilliant rainbow colours, as staff worked to decorate the venue with rainbow-coloured chains and beautiful crepe paper flowers that the residents and staff had learnt how to make in the previous weeks leading up to the event. 

Residents were offered wine, sherry and fruit punch as well as variety of tasty snacks, but the hit of the evening was the brightly coloured and cheerful-looking cake pops-on-a-stick, which were very decorative as well as edible!

The winners of the most colourfully/best dressed female and male resident, as well as the best dressed staff member were announced. The awarding of prizes was followed by a Rainbow-themed Team Challenge which involved remembering the seven colours of the rainbow in the correct order. The first team to complete the activity, with the colours in the correct order, won the challenge.

When ordered to start, team members excitedly urged each other to “hurry up” and to “go quick-quick!” After a fierce contest and amidst much cheering, the 22-members of the Blue Team were declared the winners. 

The Happy Hour finished off with the care centre’s tradition of dancing to lively, happy music. The residents and staff thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The evening was full of colour, fun, warmth and good cheer and was a bright spot on this winter’s day. 

All the flower pots had little sayings about rainbows, two of which reminded us that:  “When you look at the world, it isn’t just one palette – it’s a beautiful rainbow” and to “Try and be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.”

Pam Martins with rainbow-coloured cake pops made by care centre residents and staff.

Tshepo Peta, Pam Martins and Lindiwe Matsimela.

Rainbow-coloured flowers made by the care centre’s residents and staff.

 Ellen Prinsloo, Rebecca Moilakgomo, Ria Standing and Patricia Graham.

Dancing Queens.

Joan Patton carefully glazing the cake pops a rainbow blue.

 Happy Rainbow Day! Shirley Makawara, Ros Benjamin, Joe Rosen, Joan Gilbert, Rita Harvey, Colleen Blowe and Joyce Mabowa.

Made with love!

Jill Jones and Pam Martins.

Maria Roberts looking pretty as a picture amongst the rainbow-coloured flowers.

Dolly Luke, Mariana Duvenhage and Peggy Roberts.

Louise Newman, Sylvia Lasarow and Irene Jarman enjoying themselves!

 Magdeline Motloutsi and Yvonne Engledow.

Vivian Maphoso and Brenda Ratema.

The gaily-decorated venue.

Lindiwe Matsimela presents Joyce Mabowa with the Most Colourfully Dressed Staff prize.

Getting happy: Ethelwynne van Eyk, Emily Thabang and Sara Richards.

Josephine Kew, Emily Thabang and Joan Patton.

Rebecca Moilakgomo and Ellen Prinsloo enjoy a dance together.

Ronald Merton smiles contentedly.

One of the flower-making teams: Kedibone Shongoane, Patricia Graham, Shirley Makawara, Grace Snook and Ria van der Westhuizen.

Sharon Lesufi, Kedibone Shongoane and Hilda Mabaso.