Connect with us
Monday 1 October 2012 I For immediate release
As International Day of Older Persons is marked on 1 October, The Salvation Army continues to provide a range of services for disadvantaged and vulnerable older people through its community programmes and aged care centres.
The aim of the different programmes for those nearing the end of their lives is to enhance human dignity without compromising on providing shelter, food, clothing and healthcare services at a high standard and in a caring and non-discriminatory manner.
The Salvation Army operates aged care centres in Durban, Johannesburg, Soweto and Cape Town.
Ephraim Zulu Senior Citizen Centre in Soweto accommodates 100 residents. The centre includes a section for nursing care facilities for the frail who can no longer look after themselves. There is also accommodation for those who are still active, but need assistance with meals, cleaning, washing and daily living.
Born in 1914, 98-year-olds Wilson Ntshane and Jeremiah Ramoeshebi are the centre’s two oldest residents. Ramoeshebi, who proudly carries a name tag with the letters, “VIP” on it, wakes up every morning at 5am, and still actively participates in caring for the home’s neat, well-kept gardens.
Another Ephraim Zulu resident, 75-year-old Denis Rashama, still has vivid memories of moving as a youngster from the family home in Sophiatown to Mofolo Village, only a few months before the apartheid era government forcibly moved the vibrant suburb’s remaining residents to clear the socalled “black spot”.
Rashama’s children keep in touch with him and visit regularly. Not all of the centre’s residents are in contact with their families, however, according to social worker Bertha Munyoro. One of her tasks is to re-unite destitute elderly people with their families, using various methods of tracking them.
According to The Salvation Army’s Public Relations Secretary, Major Carin Holmes, elderly people are referred to the centres by organisations, hospitals, the police, families and the Department of Social Development.
“We take in people from 60 years of age. Some people are also referred here by other centres of The Salvation Army, such as the Goodwill Centre in Krugersdorp, when people are no longer able to adequately care for themselves.”
In addition to Ephraim Zulu Centre, The Salvation Army operates several other centres for the aged. Thembela in Durban accommodates 48 residents, while Emmerentia Eventide Home in Johannesburg is home to 40 residents. The centres provide assisted living where residents look after themselves but have assistance with meals, cleaning, washing and daily activities.
In Cape Town, Beth Rogelim in Cape Town provides accommodation for 88 elderly men.
All of the centres provide programmes that assist the residents in keeping active and help with mental, physical and spiritual aspects of their lives.
Many local corps (churches) also support the elderly with feeding and activities. They also help them with nutrition, physic-social and spiritual support.
Community activities include feeding programmes, distribution of food parcels, soup kitchens at pension points, visiting and assisting the elderly with activities of daily living, such as cleaning, gardening and preparation of meals in the homes of the elderly.
The Southern Africa Territory of The Salvation Army encompasses four countries – South Africa, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland – and the island of St Helena. Its officers, soldiers and full-time employees provide their spiritual and community services through approximately 230 corps (churches), societies and outposts, as well as through schools, hospitals, institutions for children, street children, the elderly, men and abused women, and daycare, goodwill, rehabilitation and social centres.
ISSUED BY QUO VADIS COMMUNICATIONS ON BEHALF OF THE SALVATION ARMY
Media Contact: Ruth Coggin
Click here to e-mail Ruth
Client Contact: Major Carin Holmes
Public Relations Secretary
Click here to e-mail Carin