Monday, 24 April 2017

Easter Tea at Ron Smith Care Centre

Kedibone Shongoane and Howard Motau take delight in the sheer joy of dancing.

On the morning of April 18, residents who participate in activities at the Rand Aid-run Ron Smith Care Centre knew that they had to get cracking!

They were to assist with the catering for the Easter Tea that was being held later in the afternoon; what was requested from them was to bake and decorate several dozen Easter cupcakes. The OT activity centre was a hive of activity in the morning as residents, staff, and volunteers worked to fill the order.  Also on the tea menu were sandwiches, sausage rolls, milk tart and biscuits, but thankfully, that was someone else’s job!

After indulging in the sumptuous tea to the strains of light classical music, the care centre residents decided to liven things up and dance away the afternoon to all their Golden Oldie favourites.  Lively music from the 50s and 60s as well as British pub songs and various singers from Elvis Presley, Abba and the Beatles to Nat King Cole, Miriam Makeba and Kurt Darren, inspired the elders to get on the dance floor.  Others were taken for a spin in their wheelchairs whilst still others clapped, swayed and sang along to music they fondly remembered.

Resident Enzo Merolla enjoyed the dancing very much and said:  “I used to be a good dancer when I was younger.” He laughed delightedly when Debbie Christen, Rand Aid’s Manager:  Recreational Programmes told him: “You’ve still got the moves!” 

And what did the guests think about the Easter cupcakes? “They were awfully good!” pronounced resident Denny Hancox.

What a divine looking spread.

Sheila Hawes.

Gertie Dansky and Peggy Roberts enjoy tea and company.

Nicky Poncho and James Taylor.

Lynette Saville, Kris Geyser and Rosina Pretorius.

Betty Haughton (101) with Kris Geyser.

Enzo Merolla and Janet Smart cut the rug.

Denny Hancox with the ‘awfully good’ Easter cupcakes.

Margaret Richardson & Julia Mali

Activity Centre holds commitment ceremony

Staff and residents who participate in Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre Occupational Therapy Activity Centre recently gathered to present and dedicate a banner to the activity centre.

The banner, which took about a year to complete, was designed and appliquéd by volunteer Marisa Sabato, and depicts the Vision and Mission of the Care Partners who are involved in the activity centre’s programmes. 

Central to the banner is the Eden Alternative tree which represents the life and growth desirable for all residents and staff at the care centre. Ron Smith Care Centre last year became the first organisation in Gauteng – and the second in Africa – to become a member of Eden Alternative South Africa registry. The Eden Alternative philosophy is based on the core belief that aging should be a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline.

The activity centre’s vision is: A person-centered community of Elders and Care Partners where individual’s needs are known and where their identity is recognised and honoured.  An environment where opportunities are created to live life to the fullest, by engaging in meaningful activities, which bring about well being:  joy, purpose, connectedness and independence.

Its mission is: To work as a team to identify individual needs, interests and abilities, to facilitate activities and events which create well being, by providing opportunities for physical mental, creative, spiritual and social growth, stimulation, relaxation and fun!

The Activity Centre team members who are committed to the vision and mission.
Back: Kedibone Shongoane (porter), Salina Mtshali (occupational therapy technician), Debbie Christen (Manager: Recreational Programmes) and Joyce Mabowa (porter). Front: Lee-Ann Ramathibela (lifestyle assistant), Marisa Sabato (volunteer and creator of the banner) and Bianca Richards (occupational therapist).

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Happy 101 years old!

Bright-eyed Betty Haughton recently turned 101.

Betty Haughton turned 101 years old on April 19, 2017. The resident of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre celebrated this milestone at a lovely tea with her friends at Woodlands, the care centre wing in which she lives.

The management and staff of the care centre presented her with a beautiful bouquet of flowers and a special card, which she graciously received. Her friends remarked how amazing and extraordinary Betty is, for reaching the grand age of 101. Betty, however, replied that her birthday is quite ordinary and that to reach this age, ‘you just have to stay alive!’

British born, Betty has lived in South Africa for most of her adult life.

The mother of two sons and matriarch to a brood of grandchildren and great grandchildren, Betty was a keen bowls and bridge player in her younger days. She worked for many years as secretary of Linksfield Primary School.

Today, Betty still keeps herself busy, attending occupational therapy at the care centre where she is always game for any of the activities offered.

Rand Aid Easter celebrations

At their April Lotto draw and tea, Rand Aid’s residents at Elphin Lodge and Ron Smith Care Centre enjoyed a morning of Easter entertainment by popular pianist Martin Lane, as well as an Easter raffle draw and prize-giving for the best Easter masks spotted at the event.

Elphin Lodge resident Felicite Horn won a hamper full of delicious Easter treats, whilst Louis Venter won a homemade Easter fruit cake with a friendly knitted Easter bunny for good measure.

For a change and instead of the traditional Easter bonnets, the care centre residents explored their creativity in the OT Activity Centre and designed Easter masks, which they wore for the morning. Prizes were awarded for the most Easter-like, the most creative, the most unique and the most beautiful, amongst others.

Gordon Smith and volunteer Ethel Ramahuna.

Who is behind the mask? Care centre resident Dina van Holthoon and her carer, Priscilla Dlamini. Dina won a prize for creating a beautiful and colourful mask.

Josephine Kew won for the most eye-catching and Easter-like mask.

Elphin Lodge resident Felicite Horn receives an Easter hamper on behalf of her son in-law Rob Zwaneveld.

Louis Venter won the Easter cake and a knitted bunny.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Visit from New Day Church – Edenvale

Resident Marion Bryant being prayed for by Jonathan Isaacs.

Jonathan Isaacs from New Day Church engages with care centre resident Ivan Langenstrass.

Six members from the New Day Church in Edenvale recently came with an Easter message of hope and eight huge decadently-delicious cakes for the residents and staff of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre.

Church leader Jonathan Isaacs, said that ‘New Day on Mission is determined to see transformation in the community through sharing the love of Jesus, and as part of this vision, is visiting retirement homes in the area, believing that the Lord is able to reignite hope and vision in senior citizens’.

He added that God often shares his love for his people through the wisdom and life experiences of the elderly, and through prayer.

After singing and delivering the Easter message, the church team engaged with residents and staff, giving each person present the opportunity to receive some one-on-one prayer.  

“It was evident that this kind of spiritual care was well-received and meaningful to residents and staff alike, because for many, faith, prayer and worship has always been, and is still a part of their lives,”  said Rand Aid’s Debbie Christen, Manager: Recreational Programmes.

Isaacs explained: “We believe at New Day Church that the church needs to serve, celebrate and love the people of our city and this is just a small way in which we can honour the precious old folk in our city.”

Yesteryear comes alive for Bunny -

A life-long love affair with vintage cars was embraced by Ron Smith Care Centre resident Bunny Marks (98) recently, when he was given the chance to enjoy the beautiful British vintage and veteran vehicles of yesteryear at the monthly Piston Ring meeting in Modderfontein.

Denise Stewart, who volunteers at the care centre, discovered a mutual love of old cars when chatting to Bunny one day, and since then, she and her husband Dave have enjoyed sharing this pastime with Bunny.

“Walking around with Bunny and looking at the cars was truly a walk down memory lane,” says Denise.

“Bunny pointed out many different MG cars which were the same as he had lovingly restored in the past. It was wonderful to see the expression on his face as he reminisced. We also met some old friends of Bunny’s,” she says.

A passer-by spoke to Bunny while he was looking at a blue MG Midget which was on display. During the long conversation, it transpired that Bunny had restored an identical model some long years ago.

“It was indeed a privilege to share these precious moments and memories with him,” says Denise.

Ron Smith Care Centre is always looking for volunteers to visit with residents and assist with occupational therapy-type activities. If you would like to volunteer your time, contact Debbie Christen at 011 882 6296 or email: Ron Smith Care Centre is at 222 Modderfontein Road, Lyndhurst.

Hopping happy!

The Easter bunny paid an early visit to Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre on April 9, when the 1st Edenvale cubs and scouts treated the residents to delicious chocolates and lavishes of love for Easter. Pictured with resident Joan Bellew are sisters Kirstynn (standing) and Caitlynn Switala (kneeling).

Kitty Venn celebrates milestone birthday

The elegant Kitty Venn turns 100 years old!

Ron Smith Care Centre resident Kitty Venn turned 100 years old on April 5, 2017.
Some of the Rand Aid-run care centre staff and residents gathered to sing happy birthday and present her with a special card, flowers and birthday cake. Also present were her daughter and son in-law, Carol and Paul Cunningham, and her son and daughter in-law, Charles and Mitzi Venn from Brisbane, Australia.
Kitty was born Doreen Ruby Mole in 1917 in Swakopmund, South West Africa. She was the fourth child in a family of 12 children. Three of her siblings are still living.

Her father, Alfred Mole, was a magistrate who moved his family to Hamilton Street, Pretoria, where Kitty grew up. As there was a tennis court at their home, she was a good tennis player and only gave up playing tennis just before she turned 80.

After completing her schooling at Pretoria Girls High, Kitty worked for Barclays Bank as a secretary.

After the war she married Oliver Claude Venn, a quantity surveyor who was a pilot during the war, and they moved to Sandringham, which was a suburb developed for ex-servicemen.

She and Oliver had four children, 18 grandchildren and 27 great grandchildren, most of who gathered for a huge birthday celebration on April 8.

Family members flew in from KwaZulu-Natal and from around the world – San Francisco, Sydney, Melbourne, Townsville and Australia – to honour Kitty on reaching this special milestone.  About 140 people attended the party, including some of Kitty’s friends from Elphin Lodge retirement village and the Ron Smith Care Centre.

Daughter Carol commented: “Kitty has always been a very positive person; she never complains and thinks that everyone and everything at the care centre is just wonderful. Everyone loves my mother!”

“It is true that everyone loves Kitty. Since she moved into Elphin Lodge many years ago, we experienced her as a very positive person with a ready smile for everyone,” says Zabeth Zühlsdorff, Rand Aid’s GM: Services and Advance Division.

Kitty moved to Elphin Lodge in 2000 after her husband died. Her cottage was delightful and she had an amazing ‘spring garden’ including huge flowering azaleas. She lived there until two years ago, when a fall and subsequent hip replacement necessitated her move to the care centre.

Lovely Kitty surrounded by some of her family, from left to right: daughter and son in-law Carol and Paul Cunningham; and son and daughter in-law Charles and Mitzi Venn from Brisbane, Australia.

Penned by Kitty’s daughter Carol:

Kitty Venn celebrated her 100th birthday with a birthday luncheon at Elphin Lodge
Main Hall with 140 of her family and friends (mostly family).

All four of her children, 14 of her 18 grandchildren and 18 of her 27 great grandchildren came from far and wide to celebrate her unique achievement with her.

They came from London, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney, Brisbane, Townsville,
Australia, San Fransisco, Gauteng, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumpalanga and Johannesburg.

She was presented with a cricket bat with all the names of her children, grandchildren and great grand children from her grandsons Stuart and Trevor Cunningham. It reads: KITTY 100 NOT OUT!

Kitty was the fourth of 12 children born to Alice and Alfred Mole, hence the wonderful turn out at her 100th luncheon. She has only two remaining siblings alive, Merle Price from Elphin Lodge and her youngest brother Alan Mole who lives in England. Also her sister-in-law Benita Mole lives at Elphin Lodge and a sister-in-law Olga Mole from Pretoria.

Kitty has always been a kind and loving person who always says, “If you haven't got anything nice to say ..DON'T SAY IT.” She never complains and although her eyes and hearing are failing, her mind and brain are amazing. She puts her longevity down to happiness, eating everything in moderation, excerise (she played tennis well into her 80s) playing bridge and being blessed by having such a loving family.

She also is so appreciative of all the wonderful staff at Elphin Lodge and says she lives in the best retirement village in South Africa. 

Kitty surrounded by her grand- and great grandchildren.

Kitty with her cricket Bat ‘100 not out’ given to her by her grandsons Stuart and Trevor Cunningham with the names of all her children, grand- and great grandchildren.