Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Adding colour to the lives of elders

Residents of Rand Aid Association’s Ron Smith Care Centre thoroughly enjoyed their occupational therapy morning on Wednesday, January 19.  

Aletha de Klerk thoroughly enjoyed fabric painting at Ron Smith Care Centre’s occupational therapy morning.

Betty Haughton, who turns 100 years old in April, with her beautiful fabric painting, pictured with painting teacher Jéhudith Lurie.

Heather Zipp is pictured here with her lovely painting.

Ron Smith Care Centre volunteer Shirley Blieden, who has been assisting the centre with occupational therapy since July 2015, pictured with resident Lynn Kingston.

Thursday, 21 January 2016

A few hours is all it takes to change someone’s world

Volunteers bring added energy, creativity, warmth and caring that is so vital to the well being of residents in care centres.
This is the firm belief of the team at Rand Aid Association’s Ron Smith Care Centre, which for some time now has invited members of the public and residents of its retirement villages to volunteer their time at the Lyndhurst-based care centre, and in so doing, help enrich the lives of scores of people no longer able to live independently.
“We appreciate that our volunteers help residents keep their bodies, minds and spirits engaged and active, and that they bring a bit of laughter and good cheer to their day,” says Debbie Christen, Rand Aid’s Manager: Recreational Programmes.
“We are grateful for the help and service that our volunteers give to our organisation but, more importantly, we value the precious and meaningful relationships that they build up with our sometimes very frail and aged residents. It is truly a priceless gift that is treasured by so many.”
However, she says that many of Rand Aid’s experienced volunteers have had to resign their services due to poor and failing health, the effects of aging, lack of time due to other commitments or because they have relocated.
Community members with time and energy to spare are asked to considering volunteering at the care centre. No experience is necessary as in-house coaching takes place.
“Volunteers can help in a variety of ways. Some faithfully commit to leading programmes week after week in exercises, walking, music, singing, dancing, reading, armchair travel, library trolley, painting, card making, news group and bible study,” says Debbie.
“Others regularly visit the occupational therapy department to help the residents with baking, knitting, games, puzzles, arts and crafts and music and movement. There is also a dedicated group of volunteers who provide sensory stimulation activities to our residents living with dementia on River Lodge 3. 
“Finally, there is a special category of friendly volunteers who have the gift of engaging with and listening to our residents, some of whom are very lonely and long for some kind of communication and connection with another human being. These volunteers visit specific residents regularly and take the time to have a cup of tea and a chat with each one.
“Volunteers do much to brighten up days and enrich lives at Ron Smith Care Centre,” adds Debbie. “Sometimes you actually see residents’ eyes light up when they see a volunteer. Other times you may not get the response you hoped for. Yet I am totally convinced that that person is still somehow taking in and absorbing the fact that someone is showing love and care and trying to make a connection.”
If you are interested in joining the volunteer group, please contact Debbie Christen at 011 882 6296.

Resident Lorna Smith and volunteer Denise Stewart spent a pleasant morning hand-making bath products.

Volunteer Julie Potgieter and resident Isaac Poulton try their hand at soap making.