Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Water play bonds colleagues and builds relationships

The nursing staff of Ron Smith Care Centre’s River Lodge 1 and 2 packed their swimming towels and headed off to Happy Island water park in Muldersdrift on October 26 for a day of team-building fun.

Teamwork and team building are important aspects of the Eden Alternative people-first philosophy that has been embraced by the care centre and regular staff outings are thus organised by the staff, for the staff.

Sister Leanie Bessinger shares the events of the day:

On arrival, we picked out a big enough spot for our large group of 19 people on the beach in front of the sea, pitched our gazebo and got organised.

“Everybody was in a hurry to get into the water. We didn’t know where to start as there were so many options of large waterslides, an enormous sea and, of course, the lazy river.

“We were like children giggling and laughing all the way, trying to pick our first water slide. We were a bit apprehensive going on our first ride as it was a huge waterslide, called ‘The Trumpet’. Four people go on one tube! I think we all had palpitations sitting on that tube waiting to be pushed down the slide.

“I don’t think we had ever screamed that hard. You literally shoot into an enormous trumpet and are pushed from one side to the other by a strong stream of water, until it spits you out at the bottom like a piece of chewing gum.

“Needless to say, we were laughing and screaming at the same time when we were ‘spat out’ into a small pool. We struggled to get out of the tube as we were all in stitches, laughing at each other screaming as we came down.

“The Trumpet was just the beginning of our adventurous day. We went on every slide possible. We tried the lazy river – on which we got stuck, swam in the sea and were tumbled by the waves – with some lost swimwear and counted down with the rest of the patrons each time a huge wave was coming. WE HAD FUN!

“On that day we forgot about all our troubles; we were carefree. We were like children starting a new adventure. Our only worry was which slide would be next.  

“I don’t think there was one person who did not enjoy themselves. We came back home tired and full of bruises, with painful bodies (a reminder of our real age!), some of us worse than others. But I think if you ask any of us if we would do it again, we would say ‘yes’ without a second thought.

“This day created a sense of camaraderie amongst us. When we see each other in the corridors, we greet each other with a smile, remembering the day we had so much fun together.”


The teams from River Lodge 1 and 2 at Happy Island.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

Seeing care through the eyes of an elder

The Housekeeping and Kitchen staff of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre who participated in the Eden Alternative Open Hearts Open Minds training in October, were honoured at an Awards Ceremony on November 8.

Some of the feedback on the training, which was presented by Debbie Christen, Rand Aid’s Manager: Recreational Programmes, indicated that the staff were happy to be recognised and affirmed as individuals beyond their job titles, and to learn that the Rand Aid organisation valued them as domestic and service staff who make important contributions to the wellbeing of the centre’s elders.

They learnt that the Ron Smith Care Centre is not a hospital, but the residents’ home. They also learnt that wellbeing is health in body, mind and spirit and that it is important to see the whole person, not just the medical condition. They received the message that all have a role to play in bringing loving care, kindness, respect, meaning, joy, fun and simple pleasures into the lives of all who live and work in the care centre community.

Zabeth Zühlsdorff, GM Services and Advanced Division, said in her address to the staff that in the 116-year-old history of Rand Aid, one of the most important highlights in the growth of the organisation, has been the adoption of the Eden Alternative philosophy.

“Eden has revolutionised our care centre. It has changed from an institution to a home where people receive tender loving care during their last years when they need help, assistance and nursing care. Eden has shown us how important it is to see care through the eyes of a resident and to understand the person we care for.

“It also teaches and reminds us every day to treat each person, resident and staff alike, with respect, dignity and love. The housekeeping, kitchen, maintenance and gardening staff all have a huge role to play in creating a caring environment – a place that residents want to call ‘home’.  How you treat residents, how you interact with them, and how well you do your job is so very important in reaching our Eden goals.”

Ron Smith Care Centre staff were each presented with a Certificate of Achievement, followed by an ice-cream party to celebrate the learning, connection and fun that was experienced in the Open Hearts Open Minds Eden training. 


The staff members who underwent the Open Hearts Open Minds Eden training.

Friday, 25 October 2019

Open Hearts Open Minds Staff Training

On October 23, one shift of staff from Housekeeping, Kitchen and OT, gathered together for Eden training, facilitated by Debbie Christen, Manager: Recreational Programmes.

They spent the day opening up their minds and learning to see and understand the Eden Alternative philosophy with their hearts.
 
The training consisted of a number of activities, information-giving and feedback sessions designed to allow staff to get to know each other better, build relationships, and to understand the importance of learning to see the whole person, not just the illness or medical condition.

In essence, they learnt ways to treat Elders with understanding, care and respect and how to contribute to the well-being of everyone in the care centre community.

Some of the staff feedback: I appreciated that this training was cheerful and fun and that we were given time to express our feelings and to connect with each other.
 We need to treat our residents with patience, kindness, love, care and respect and we should all help them to feel at home. We need to bring joy to them everyday!


The Rand Aid team that recently underwent Eden Alternative training, with Debbie Christen, Rand Aid Manager: Recreational Programmes.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019

Heritage Day happiness at Ron Smith Care Centre


Over 150  residents and staff of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre gathered at the centre’s beautiful Woodlands Lapa and Garden area to celebrate Heritage Day on September 26. 

Preparations for the event began weeks in advance with the residents and staff creating special Heritage Day hats and hand-crafted Proteas for table decorations in the OT activity centre, whilst the staff dancers learnt some new international dances to entertain the crowd. 

The day was awash with brilliant colours as staff were dressed in their bright and beautiful traditional attire. The dance programme began with staff representing the Venda, Pedi, Zulu and Tsonga tribes, performing their traditional dances. This was followed by an American Line Dance (Hillbilly Rock), an Israeli Folk Dance (Nigun Atik), a Latin American Cha (Chilly Cha Cha) and an American round dance (Salty Dog Rag). The programme ended with a lone Scottish piper who played Scotland the Brave.

After thoroughly enjoying the entertainment, residents were by now ravenous and more than ready for the braai. ‘Build your own burgers’ were on the menu and the Naked Chefs from Rand Aid’s Inyoni Creek were the braai masters. Delicious, juicy hamburgers were served, which could be embellished with cheese, tomatoes and/or onions. Coleslaw, bean salad and pap & sauce were also on offer and the alfresco meal ended off with everyone’s favourite – Eskimo Pies!

Debbie Christen, Manager: Recreational Programmes commented: “The day was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with the care centre community, the spirit and beauty of Rand Aid’s diverse cultures and to find joy in a selection of music and dances from around the world. The perfectly grilled burgers were also a treat!”
Olimpia D’ Ascenzo and Ziyanda Vellem.

Ron Smith Care Centre’s colourful Heritage Day celebration.



The Vendas.


Johanna Mokwele, Megan Weeks, Nolly Mlandu, and Knowledge Ngobeni.


Jennifer Sigida, Noel Tilney, and Evelyn Shilubane.


 Here come the Pedis!


Sister Leanie Bessinger gets initiated into the Zulu tribe!


The Tsonga Dancers. 


Israeli Folk Dance.


Dancing the Chilly Cha!Cha!


Timothy Lincoln.


Rosina Pretorius.


 Ros Benjamin.


Nomsa Shabangu, Peggy Roberts, Hilda Mabaso.


Here come the Vendas!

Friday, 13 September 2019

A ball of a time had by RSCC nursing teams


On September 10, the nursing staff of the Woodlands and Cedar Park wings of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre held a team-building event at the Woodlands Lapa and croquet lawn. 

Weeks before, the two teams had a training and practice session with Recreation Manager Debbie Christen, who taught them the game of croquet and also how to have a golf putting competition.

On the day of the event, both teams pitted their game skills, techniques and strategies against each other, determined to come out tops! At the end of the day, the Woodlands group were the first to complete the croquet course and the Cedar Park team won the golf competition – so both teams were very happy and had so much fun building their team spirit and getting a good dose of fresh air and sunshine in the process. 

Both teams had much to celebrate, so drinks and snacks under the lapa rounded off a wonderful day of fun spent with colleagues.
  

The Cedar Park team in red: Lucy Kgafela, Noma Malevu, Penelope Mthembu, and Christina Maluka.
The Woodlands team in blue and white: Busi Nxumalo, China Matsane, Florah Mothogoane, Grace Tshikalonge and Gwen Coutinho.

Wednesday, 11 September 2019

New OT focuses on people’s strengths rather than their weaknesses


People living with dementia need to have a sense of independence and the right level of stimulation, believes Ron Smith Care Centre’s new occupational therapist, Corlia Schutte.

“I have a passion for working with people living with dementia,” she says. “I have found I have the empathy and compassion needed to care for these special individuals.”

A Pretoria resident, Corlia became part of the Rand Aid Association team on August 5, 2019.

She says she hopes to bring a personal touch to the occupational therapy department and intends being as hands-on as possible. She would also like to grow the therapeutic programme at Riverlodge 3, the care centre’s special dementia wing.
 “Sensory stimulation is very important when it comes to the care of frail elders and I would like to be involved in the training of care workers and volunteers in this regard. It is important in dementia care to ensure that a person is stimulated according to their individual and constantly evolving needs.” 
Corlia admires dementia-care education specialist Teepa Snow’s approach, which recognises the dynamic nature of the human brain and its abilities. “She advocates that we should focus on what a person can do, rather than what they cannot,” says Corlia.

A practising occupational therapist for over 20 years, Corlia studied Occupational Therapy at the University of Pretoria after matriculating at Hoёrskool Randburg in 1991.

“I worked in paediatrics for many years but changed direction when I was appointed as an occupational therapist at Ons Tuis old age home. I then worked at Livewell Villages for two years, also as an OT. My time at these establishments cemented my interest in the care of elders,” she says.

“Corlia will enrich our existing programmes and bring skills and talents to the care centre that will strengthen and benefit all,” says Debbie Christen, Rand Aid’s Manager: Recreational Programmes, who arranges wonderful social and enrichment programmes for residents of the care centre.


Corlia Schutte, Ron Smith Care Centre’s new occupational therapist.



Friday, 30 August 2019

Cowgirls and boys cavort at Ron Smith Care Centre

Residents and staff at the Ron Smith Care Centre enjoyed a boot-scootin’ good old time on 27 August at the country and western-themed party hosted by the River Lodge 2 wing of the care centre.

The dining room tables were transformed with red and white checkered overlays and clever decorations from the wild west and farm life. Guests were welcomed with happy hour drinks and snacks, including sausage rolls, biltong and tortilla chips; those with a sweet tooth were satisfied with vanilla cupcakes and chocolates! 

The country music of Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, amongst others, played in the background and created the country and western vibe which everyone so enjoyed.

Ecstatic cheering, whistling and applauding took place when the best-dressed men and women were announced: 

Gisela Meinck from River Lodge 2 won the Best-dressed Lady prize; 
Leon Shuker from Cedar Park won the Best-dressed Gentleman prize; and 
Nellie Motshoene from Lakeside won the Best-dressed Staff prize. 

More clapping, hooting , whistling and cheering took place when the River Lodge 2 Country and Western Line Dancers performed three dances: Salty Dog Rag, Hillbilly Rock and Achy Breaky Heart.

All the cowboys and cowgirls had a great time, judging from the happy smiles and laughter, with many of the residents saying that this was the best Happy Hour function they’ve had. It was also a wonderful way to say goodbye to winter and to joyfully welcome the coming of spring!
 
Violet Mtheroana, James Taylor, Shaka Mahlangu and Myer Fish.

River Lodge 2 hosts of the Country and Western Happy Hour.
Hee-ha! Sarah Richards and Helen Barlow-Jones.



The table decorations that residents and staff made in OT.


Country and Western Line Dancers.


Corlia Schutte – RSCC’s new OT.


Paulina Sepeng & Malcolm Shalekoff.


Alison Bell & Edna van Rensburg. 



 Etienne & Vera Geyser.


 Cleo Makhanya, Dumi Mboweni, Annastasia Thula, Maserame Moilwa, Christine Kincaid-Smith.


 Nomagugu Ncube gives everyone a good ole Country & Western welcome!


Gisela Meinck is ecstatic over winning the best dressed lady prize!


 Shaka Mahlangu congratulates Leon Shuker for winning the Best Dressed Gentleman prize!


 Victor Daniel.


Nellie Motshoene & Molly Matroos.


Lorraine Lowdon rocks the hillbilly look!