Tuesday, 18 September 2018

Young and old united through song



The sweet voices of young children filled Ron Smith Care Centre residents’ souls with joy on Wednesday, September 12. The Rand Aid-run care centre held its monthly Lotto Concert on the morning and the junior choir from the Holy Rosary School in Edenvale provided the entertainment, much to the delight of the audience.





Care centre celebrates everyday heroes



Caring is their super power


Ron Smith Care Centre staff members were eager participants in Casual Day on Friday, September 7, 2018.

The Rand Aid care centre in Lyndhurst has a wing dedicated to caring for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and with Alzheimer’s South Africa one of the fundraising day’s official beneficiaries, they were more than happy to show their support of the work being done by the non-profit company.

The Gauteng office of Alzheimer’s South Africa is based at Elphin Lodge Complex, which includes the Ron Smith Care Centre.

This year’s Casual Day theme was ‘Be an everyday hero for people with disabilities’

Ron Smith Care Centre’s team members dressed up as super heroes and everyday heroes. “The fund-raising initiative created awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and gave recognition to the everyday heroes who give loving care to the elderly frail and to those living with the disease,” says Debbie Christen, Rand Aid’s manager: recreational programmes.



 Ron Smith Care Centre’s staff members dressed up as super heroes and everyday heroes on Casual Day.


Thursday, 6 September 2018

Children shoot arrow through elders’ hearts



The children from Arrows Home School with their mothers and a few of the elders who enjoyed the show. Front row, left to right, are residents: Ria Standing, Jill Jones, Colleen Blowe and Eleanor Motsepe.

On September 4, 2018, the residents and staff of Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre welcomed spring with a lovely tea and delicious sweet treats. 

There was a wonderful selection of red velvet cake, banana loaf, Bar One cake and donuts. Also on offer were the  muffins which the residents had made in the OT Activity Centre, as their contribution to the tea.

The highlight of the morning, however, was the very special entertainment provided by the children from the Arrows Home School: Amber, Benjamin and Jasmine Banks; Shayna Berry; Ruth and Thomas Hicken; Aryc Holgate; Isabella and Jayden Strauss; and Nathan and Samuel Vrey.  

They recited poetry, sang songs, told jokes, did some dancing and performed in a musical play entitled, ‘A World is Washed’, which was based on the story of Noah’s Ark as found in Genesis 6-9 in the Holy Bible.

The residents and staff were delighted by the young children, who ranged in age from three to nine years, and everyone remarked how cute, happy and joyful they were. 

All at the care centre would like to thank each and everyone one of them, their mothers who coached them and brought them along and the dads who worked behind the scenes, for the joy they brought to all. And special thanks to Susanna Banks –the ‘head mom’ and creator and director of the entertainment programme. Bravo! Well done!

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Women’s Month Happy Hour celebration



Great women celebrated at Ron Smith Care Centre

 Women’s Month was joyously celebrated at Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre on 30 August at a Happy Hour event, with the theme of honouring inspirational women from the past and present. The hosts of the evening were the residents and staff who live and work on the Cedar Park wing of the care centre.

Wine, sherry, fruit punch and an assortment of delicious sweet and savoury snacks, including the cheese straws that the residents and staff had made earlier in the afternoon, were enjoyed by all and then it was time for the quiz contest. 

Earlier in the month, residents and staff were asked to make a list of women whom they admired and whom inspired them. Fifteen of these women were selected to have their pictures displayed on each team’s table at Happy Hour. The residents and staff were divided into teams and then participated in a quiz contest where they had to recognize and identify each of the inspirational women. Team Lisa’s 18-member group were the winners as they speedily came up with all the correct answers, although ‘Anne Frank’ and ‘Helen Suzman’ gave them a bit of a challenge!

The Cedar Park hosts then announced that they were going to present a little skit and dance. Although there are many women, past and present, who have made a contribution to society, the woman they wished to honour and celebrate was, Florence Nightingale, as most of the staff are involved in nursing care. Florence was known for saving the lives of thousands of people and for being the founder of modern nursing.

In 1854, the Crimean War broke out and Florence rounded up a team of 38 nurses to work in the field hospital in Crimea, to look after the soldiers who were dying from battle wounds, cold, hunger and disease.  She improved the filthy hospital conditions and provided clean water, fresh food and quality care. She was committed to the principle that ‘Every patient deserves a good nurse’. More than 100 years later, her birthday is still celebrated around the world as International Nurses Day.

This Women’s Day event was enjoyed by the whole care centre and had meaning for all. It gave everyone the opportunity to think about the strengths, abilities, and determination of women who have taken on leadership roles in society because of their compassion and caring for other people.


The Cedar Park staff cast of the Florence Nightingale skit with Debbie Christen (Rand Aid’s recreation manager): Angie Morrison, Penny Mthembu, Lisa Mtshali (Florence Nightingale), Hilda Mabaso, Lucy Kgafela, Noma Malevu, Christina Maluka and Cleo Makhanya.


A delighted resident, Irene Droste, is congratulated by Noma Malevu, Lucy Kgafela and Penny Mthembu for winning the Most Elegantly Dressed prize as voted by staff.


Some of the Cedar Park hosts with their guests.


Team Lisa won the quiz contest by being the first team to correctly identify the 15 inspirational women displayed at their table.


Erica Penney, Emily Thabang and Lorna Topp.


Gill Holliman.


Nora Dzivhani and Christine Kincaid-Smith.


Gordon Smith, Penny Mthembu and Joy Smith.


Ros Benjamin and Sharon Zaidman.


Halina Malujlo and Rosina Pretorius.


Josephine Kew, Leanie Bessinger and Peggy Roberts.


The table decorations with the pictures of inspirational women placed between the spring flowers.


Cecily Ryder.


Irene Nyadzane and Jane Hart-Davis.



Josephine Kew.


Edna van Rensburg, Eleanor Motsepe and Blessed Nyati.


Shirley Makwarela helps Christine Kincaid-Smith make the flower decorations for the Women’s Month Happy Hour.


Lisa Mtshali, Debbie Christen, Noma Malevu and Lucy Kgafela.


How low can you go?


Florence Nightingale cast celebrate Women’s Month with a  Scarf Dance.


Zabeth Zuhlsdorff and Anna Matlala.


Sheila Hawes and Gladys Rosenberg.


Molly Matroos, Nicky Ponco, Knowledge Ngobene and Evelyn Shilubane.


Thelma Radmore and Laurentia Jooste.


Cedar Park staff and friends get happy.


Irene Nyadzane and Leanie Bessinger.

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Thursday, 30 August 2018

Happy staff mean happy residents



Thili Sibiya, Pam Martins, Juliet Malatjie, Maserame Moilwa and Prudence Sengoeneng bond at the seaside.

Seaside trip waves in Eden Alternative bonding experience

When professional nurse Thili Sibiya joined Ron Smith Care Centre’s nursing team two years ago, she found herself in almost alien surroundings, despite her years of experience in caring for elders.

The approach to care was vastly different to what she was used to.

“My previous experiences were of institutional-type care. Residents lived a very regimented, ordered life, with little personal choice on when and how they would do things. Ron Smith Care Centre works very differently, however. Here, people are at the centre of everything. If a resident fancies a morning in bed, he or she may do so without forfeiting breakfast. Rather, they will be able to eat when they are up and ready,” she says.

“Ron Smith Care Centre is a wonderful community with strong trust relationships. Family members or residents need not go through a central person when they have an issue they wish to raise; instead, they can approach any staff member. It is an open, friendly environment.”

The difference in approach is thanks to the Eden Alternative philosophy that is based on the core belief that ageing is a continued stage of development and growth, rather than a period of decline. It seeks to position places where the elderly live as habitats for humans rather than facilities for the frail, and it supports the creation of communities which help eliminate the plagues of loneliness, boredom and helplessness.

In 2016, Ron Smith Care Centre, which is run by NPO Rand Aid, became the first organisation in Gauteng, and only the second in Africa, to become members of the Eden Alternative South Africa registry.

While the Eden Alternative philosophy is all about making the lives of elders richer, it does so by ensuring buy-in from the residents themselves, family members and staff members at all levels. As care partners, staff members need to be empowered, involved and feel valued.

Sr Thili has found an openness and lightness in her working environment over the past two years and has not only given thanks for being part of a forward-thinking care centre, but in fact actively helped promote Eden Alternative values by organised a bonding weekend away for her and a few other carers.

She felt the need to get to know her colleagues better in a relaxed environment. Durban, with its buzz and beaches, provided the perfect backdrop and the Rand Aid group – all ladies from the Riverlodge 1 wing – enjoyed a wonderful, self-funded weekend away in July.

Some of the ladies had never before been to the ocean while Sr Thili herself was last there when she was in primary school. The trip, she says, was a talking point not only for those who went, but the residents too. “Everyone was excited for us and wanted to hear all about it when we were back.”

“When we get busy, it is hard to prioritise staff morale, but Sr Thili took the initiative to create a wonderful platform for carers to recharge and reach out. This outing opened the way for better communication between them which will positively impact on their happiness and as a consequence, the happiness of residents,” says Matron Avril Maltman, Rand Aid’s senior nursing manager.

“We returned to work feeling more energised and more open to effective communication,” says Sr Thili.

For information on the Eden Alternative South Africa, go to www.edenalt.co.za and to learn more about the Ron Smith Care Centre, go to www.randaid.co.za.

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New look and new menu for Elphino’s


Elphino’s, the charming coffee shop situated in the grounds of the Elphin Lodge retirement village in Lyndhurst, has had a make-over.

Interior designer Anne-Mare Liebenberg worked her magic to give the coffee shop a fresh new look. A huge panel of pink roses is the focal point of the shop, which is bright and inviting.

Sheer roller-blinds have been installed at the outdoor seating area to protect visitors from the elements.

Elphino’s opened in 2012 in the Rand Aid retirement village. It is a wonderful gathering spot for people visiting residents of Elphin Lodge and Ron Smith Care Centre, but also welcomes anyone who is looking for a supportive environment to enjoy an outing with an older person.

Wanda de Groot, who took over as manager of Elphino’s just over a year ago, is also introducing a new menu. Old favourites have been retained and there are a few tempting new offerings.

The food is freshly prepared and very well priced. To give you a teaser: a chicken mayo toasted sandwich served with chips is R29, a cheese and bacon spud with coleslaw is R35, fish and chips are R45, a Cajun chicken and avo wrap is R42 and breakfasts range from R27.50 to R50. Enjoy a scone with jam and cream for R20, chocolate or toffee pudding for R30, a filter coffee for R18 or a milkshake for R25.

Elphino’s is open on Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 4pm and provides a welcoming environment for older persons and their loved ones or carers.



Elphino’s coffee shop has been given a fresh, modern look.


Barista Vivacious Sibanda with a tempting lemon meringue pie.


Enjoy a perfectly made cappuccino as Elphino’s.


Little features draw the eye inside Elphino’s.


A small selection of hand-made crafts, sauces and jams are on sale at Elphino’s.


The outdoor seating area is now protected from wind and glare, thanks to roller blinds.


Remember to leave space for a slice of cake, a pancake, waffle or milkshake.


Browse through a magazine while enjoying your meal.



Elphino’s new menu. Spot your fancy!




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