Thursday, 31 December 2015

Christmas joy shared by young and old

Letter received from staff member’s daughter:

By Caitlynn (11) and Kirstynn (8) Switala and friends Isabel McNaught, Jane Spence, Noreen Ogilvie and Joy Smith

My mom and dad work at Rand Aid. Every year at Christmas time they have carols and people get together and sing to the residents in the care centre.
The grannies and grandpas are always so happy because they know that my sister and I are coming to sing to them. They love seeing children. It makes them smile. They enjoy the hugs so much.

Singing Christmas carols with them is my favourite part of Christmas.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015


By 7am on Friday, December 18, the kitchen, main dining room, hall and outdoor courtyard at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre were a hive of activity as staff from all departments prepared for a Christmas Show and Braai for 350 residents and staff.

About 25 housekeeping and care staff joined together to present a show of traditional and contemporary Christmas Carols interspersed with dance numbers to Mambo #5 and Vulindela. The show team also danced with the residents in the audience to a Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton Christmas song and ended up wishing everyone a Merry Christmas with a lively rendition of Feliz Navidad.

“I’m very proud of the show staff,” says Debbie Christen, Manager: Recreational Programmes for Rand Aid, who conceived and planned the show with Hilda Mabaso, Housekeeping Supervisor at Ron Smith Care Centre.

“They had less than a month to learn and practice the material, but they all did brilliantly and the residents enjoyed the show so much.  We wanted to bring the story, spirit and joy of Christmas and present it with love, and I think that’s what we did,” Debbie says.

Cedar Park resident Jill Jones comments, “Every item presented was so enthusiastically received and appreciated by the audience. At one stage, members of the Dancing Team, scattered into the audience and danced with the residents and when the melody ‘Vulindela’ was played, everyone was invited to dance, whether to sway in a wheelchair, keep time, or go onto the floor with a carer or member of the Dancing Team. This interaction was enthusiastically received and greatly enjoyed. Memories of our dancing youth were revived and came quickly to the fore. Laughter and smiles were on everyone’s faces.”

With the smell of braaing meat wafting through the air, it was now time for a hearty lunch of chicken and wors, pap and gravy, and salads and rolls, with Eskimo pies for dessert.
Peter Barker, resident from Lakeside, said, “A heart-felt thank you to Rand Aid management for the great effort that was made organising the Christmas lunch. It was a tremendous effort, and as I am one of the few residents with the means and ability to do so, I must express my appreciation and admiration for the work done by staff from the most senior to junior.”

Staff members in cheerful red and white put on quite a show for residents.

 Keeping the entertainment in-house .... Staff members presented a wonderful show for residents.

After the morning's entertainment, lunch was enjoyed in festive surroundings.

Team spirit ... camaraderie and enthusiasm from staff members made for an enjoyable event.

Smiles abounded at the Christmas lunch.

Staff members show residents their moves.

Song and dance served as a pre-lunch warm-up.

Greg Scholtz and Gail Harmer enjoy a dance.

Nomsa Shabangu dances with Beryl Armitage.

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Ron Smith Care Centre benefits from random act of kindness

Once a month, the Hillside Community Methodist Church involves its young congregants in a random act of kindness and on December 8, Ron Smith Care Centre residents were touched by this special brand of caring when hand-made Christmas crackers were handed out. The residents were enjoying a picnic at the time, which had to be moved indoors because of rainy weather and the pulling of the crackers added some extra festivity to the gathering.

Pictured are residents Lorraine Lowdon, Colleen Daly and Molly Matroos. 

Christmas cheer at Ron Smith Care Centre

Santa Claus is coming to town.... The residents of the Ron Smith Care Centre had a merry time on December 14 when Father Christmas paid them a visit. Playing Santa was Mike Holder from Collinge & Co. Funeral Directors, who was joined by colleague Jessica Foley. “Collinge has over the past few years arrived to wish our residents well over the festive season and to hand out candy canes. Over the Easter period, they will bring our residents eggs to enjoy,” says Avril Maltman, Senior Nursing Manager. 

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Pool Party fun and games

Fun in the summer sun was the order of the day at the Pool Party held on Friday, December 4, for Ron Smith Care Centre residents.
“Residents of Ron Smith Care Centre donned their ‘beach wear’ and came out to enjoy a lovely morning by the pool on a beautiful sunny Friday,” says Debbie Christen, Rand Aid Association’s Manager: Recreational Programmes.
“Strawberry smoothies, watermelon, chips, ice cream cones and other pool-side snacks were on offer and music played merrily in the background.  The activities team was first to jump into the pool and residents enjoyed watching them splash and play.  A few residents then decided to roll up their trousers and dip their feet into the lovely cool water,” says Debbie.
“We could be in Mauritius!” remarked Joy Smith, a resident of the care centre’s Cedar Park wing.

Joy Smith and Marie Diesel spend an enjoyable morning together.

 A cool drink… Ros Benjamin.

 Resident Beryl Armitage is offered a watermelon slice by Bianca Richards.

 Betty Haughton and Margaret Beattie.

 Betty Hood enjoys the cool water.

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Community involvement in motion

Volunteer Sheryl Emmet organised a wheelchair clean-up and repair day with her family, friends and volunteers, Dara and Raffaella Migliore, on Saturday, November 21, in the OT Activity Centre. The magic in the moment was to see the smile on residents’ faces when they received their wheelchair after it had been cleaned and fixed, and to know that there are always people in our community who are willing to go the extra mile to make a difference in a person’s life. Pictured: Tracy and Dylan, Sheryl’s daughter and son.

Rand Aid’s stars

Ron Smith Care Centre and Elphin Lodge thanked community members for being the shining stars they are at a champagne brunch volunteer appreciation event on Friday, November 27.
About 40 volunteers attended the event, themed ‘Stars’. Prior to the breakfast, care centre residents made glittery stars in a range of colours as an occupational therapy activity, which were then used to decorate the clubhouse. “We had stars everywhere – on the tables, on the windows and even on the floor, as a welcome pathway for the volunteers.  The residents also made star-shaped biscuits especially for the volunteers, to thank them for all they do with and for them,” says Debbie Christen, Rand Aid’s Manager: Recreational Programmes.
Those people who give of their time so generously on a regular basis at the Rand Aid-run care centre and retirement village were presented with certificates with personalised messages and a polished nickel star keychain engraved with the Rand Aid logo and the word ‘STAR’. 
“It was good to have the volunteers all together in one place at one time – something that occurs only occasionally. This event gave them the opportunity to socialise, meet other volunteers, network and discuss their volunteer activities. Some volunteers said that the morning made them feel more united,” says Debbie, and volunteer Jen Cruickshank commented, “You made us all feel like stars and to word everyone’s award certificate so personally and meaningfully was really special.”

 Sheryl Emmett, Dara Migliore, Raffi Migliore, and Madge Ronald.

Margaret O’Donoghue, Judy Dost, Lorna Turner, Judy Lurie and Debbie Christen.