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.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Volunteers shown appreciation at Ron Smith Care Centre

Left to right: Helen Dix, Christine van Rooyen, Jean Johnson, Sheryl Emmett, and Carroll Prigge enjoying the pizza party.

Zabeth Zühlsdorff and Sue van der Neut.

Margaret O’Donoghue and Helen Petrie.

Sheryl Emmett and Debbie Christen.

Seated left to right: Viv Michler, Krys Geyser, Clair Harding, Marisa Sabato and Tania Sabato. Standing: Jean Johnson and Zabeth Zühlsdorff.

Seated left to right:  Margaret O’Donoghue, Lorna Turner, Joseph Capelle, Edel Froschauer, Philippina Deppe, Beulah Ganesh and Marina Smith. Standing: Ronnie Cumming.

Helen Petrie, Lee Ann Ramathibela and Salina Mtshali.

Making the delicious pizzas.

 Jean Johnson, Denise McGee and Gloria Maddison.

  Bianca Richards, Salina Mtshali and Dara Migliore.

The wonderful volunteers who give so much of their time and energy to the residents of Ron Smith Care Centre.

Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre is fortunate to have a group of dedicated volunteers who offer the gift of their time, talents and skills to touch and enrich the lives of our Elders and to add to their health and well-being.

To thank them for their services and to show them how much they are valued and appreciated, management hosted a wonderful pizza party under the willow trees by the lake on November 30.

Fortunately it was a beautiful, sunny day. The theme of the event was to honour the care centre’s ‘volunteer angels’, so the décor included colourful paper angels made by some of the residents in the OT Activity Centre,  which were hung from the trees.

In addition, Zabeth Zühlsdorff from Rand Aid’s head office and Helen Petrie, complex manager, presented each volunteer with a hand-made candle that was decorated with a beaded angel. The attached personalised card conveyed ‘thanks for brightening up our world, touching lives and making a difference at RSCC’.

Debbie Christen, Manager: Recreational Programmes, thanked the volunteers for building relationships; for taking the time to try and connect with the residents and for simply caring and listening. In the day-to-day care of older people, it is often easy to focus on giving them physical care and to neglect their psycho-social, emotional and spiritual care.

In the midst of a busy day when there are staff shortages and older people with high level care needs, it is often the physical/medical needs that receive priority. But since embarking on an Eden Alternative journey, the care centre is committed to providing its residents with a more holistic and person-centred care, in which residents’ physical, social, creative, psychological, emotional and spiritual needs are recognised and addressed.

And this is where the volunteers really make a difference and fill in the gaps.

Debbie thanked them for coming along with their smiles, their hugs, their humour, their many acts of kindness and compassion and for taking the time to try and connect, care and listen. With these gifts, it is possible to change somebody’s world in an instant! 

A volunteer may end up being the world to one person and may never know the profound effect that they may have had on a person’s life. A kind word, a gentle touch, a caring heart or a listening ear can mean so much to someone who is bored, lonely, sick, or living with dementia. 

Debbie reminded them that, “no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted” and concluded with the saying that, “volunteers are not paid because they are worthless, but because they are priceless!”

The appreciation event was a huge success and served to unite the volunteer corps with a common purpose. All of the volunteers expressed their delight, gratitude and appreciation for being recognised in such a special way.

  The gift presented to each volunteer with the message: Thank you for lighting up our world, touching lives and making a difference at Ron Smith Care Centre.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Mama Mia, what a party!

Val Glanvill, Sister Gwen Coutinho and Aletha de Klerk.

The staff and residents at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre, particularly those on the Woodlands wing, were excited for weeks as they planned and prepared for an
Italian-themed Happy Hour for the entire care centre on November 15.

The dining room venue was gaily decorated in green, white and red (the colours of the Italian flag) and guests were invited to wear the same colours, which were very bright and colourful. Each table was decorated with a tin centrepiece which was filled with a paper flower fan with a cheerful, moustached Italian chef in its centre holding a big pizza, the Italian flag, red and green flowers and some raw spaghetti!
These unique creations were made by the residents and staff in the OT Activity Centre.  On the menu were home-made pizza, sausage rolls, themed cupcakes (also made by the residents and staff) and Sangria, light white wine or non-alcoholic punch.

The residents were divided into five teams: Teams Spaghetti, Macaroni, Ravioli, Cannelloni and Lasagne and participated in a memory and colouring-in challenge.
The quickest team to complete the challenge correctly won the prize. Team Lasagne took the honours! The best dressed female resident prize was awarded to Sylvia Dale from Woodlands; the best dressed male resident was Enzo Merolla from River Lodge 1 and the best dressed staff person was Hilda Mabaso – housekeeping supervisor.

The highlight of the evening, however, was the musical skit performed by some of the care centre staff. They acted out the lyrics to a piece of music entitled, “Home to Mama” which is an upbeat light-hearted song about a handsome young Italian man who travels the world, searching for a wife. Along the way, he encounters a Spanish girl (full of fire!), a French girl (ooh-la-la!), an English girl (pretty but shy) and Lorna from California (really wild!). There’s a problem, however, he simply can’t decide whom to marry – they are all beautiful. What should he do? He comes up with a brilliant solution. He will take them home to his Italian Mama and let her choose his bride.

The staff gave a lively, hilarious performance which had the audience laughing, singing, clapping and cheering. Mama Mia, what a happy, joyful time was had by all!

The colourful table decor.

The cast from the musical skit, “Home to Mama”.  Left to right: Iketeleng Kunyane, Pamela Martins, Hilda Mabaso, Lily Mathebula, Francina Mahlo and Joyce Mabowa.

Debbie Christen (manager recreational programmes) introducing the Spanish Girl (Lily Mathebula).

Staff and residents from Woodlands (aka Team Ravioli and the evening’s hosts) with the cast from the musical skit, “Home to Mama”.

What creative centrepieces!

The preparation was as much fun as the day itself!

The colourfully decorated venue.

Seen encouraging resident Ann Brokensha from Team Spaghetti, in the Memory and Colouring-in Challenge are: Noma Mavelu, Adolphina  Magwete and Iketeleng Kunyane.

Lindiwe Matsemela assists Patricia Graham with the challenge, whilst captain of Team Macaroni, Ria van der Westhuizen, looks on.

 Everyone applauds as Enzo Merolla takes the prize for the best dressed gentleman.

Hilda Mabaso wins the prize for best dressed staff member. 

Winning the prize for the best dressed lady is Patricia Dale.

Violet Moyo and Ronald Merton.

Olimpia D’ Ascenzo and James Taylor.

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?