Open day raises awareness

Steyntjie Koopman, Maria Appollis and Eva Isaacs.

Helderberg Society for the Aged (HSFA) hosted an open day for Senior Rendezvous Garden Village Service Centre recently, to raise awareness in the community about the centre, and to showcase the services on offer.

Members and visitors were treated to a two-course meal and entertainment, including songs by the HSFA choir, and an exhibition of the knitting and crafts of the service centre members.

Two members shared what being part of the service centre means to them, one of them saying: “We laugh all the time, and I look forward to being with my friends, getting away from my responsibilities at home and just being myself; being part of the service centre has changed my life.”

In July last year, one of the members suffered a severe stroke, which left her paralysed on the right side and adversely affected her speech. She was in hospital for a few weeks, after which she was transferred to a rehabilitation facility.

She returned to the service centre in September 2018, and her progress has been remarkable. She faithfully attends the service centre, and the social support she receives from the members has had a significant impact on her physical and emotional recovery.

The HFSA is committed to the care of the older person, and through their community-based programme, they seek to promote the well-being, care and support of the individual. The result is active aging, and the older person maintaining their autonomy and dignity.

The Senior Rendezvous Garden Village Service Centre has been in existence for the past 17 years, and three of the members were honoured as being long-standing members, the oldest member being 93 years old.

The service centre operates from the community hall in Gum Street, Garden Village, and the members meet on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 9am to 1pm.

On Mondays a volunteer does knitting and beading with the members, and on Wednesdays a volunteer does arts and crafts. These activities allow members to express themselves creatively, and it brings a sense of accomplishment when a project is completed.

The daily programme includes devotions, games, exercise and a two-course lunch from the HSFA main kitchen, and they also provide transport for the members to and from the venue.

The HSFA clinic sister does monthly blood pressure and sugar testing, while the HSFA occupational therapist offers education on various topics that focus on improving day to day life skills. The service centre programme is managed by the HSFA community co-ordinator, a qualified social worker, whose focus is on person-centred care, and advocates for the rights of the elderly, their safety and protection.

Garden Village Service Centre is always looking for volunteers who can offer their time and skills to benefit the older people in this community, specifically on craft and handwork activities for men, and they invite any older person, 60+, to join them.

Call the community co-ordinator at 021 852 5130 (extension 182) or email Shireen van Reenen at shireen@hsfa.org.za