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Ron Smith Care Centre’s Specialised Care for Persons with Dementia

Rand AidDementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is growing worldwide and the situation in South Africa is no different.

As this is a progressive disease, it is often very difficult for family members to care for the person with dementia at home. The loss of memory and understanding, difficulty in performing previously routine tasks as well as behaviour, personality or mood changes place a high burden on the primary caregiver. These difficulties are more pronounced if the carer is an elderly spouse or an adult child trying to cope with the conflicting demands of his/her own family, holding down a job and taking care of the parent.

It is therefore no surprise that Care Centres for older persons experience an increased demand for the admission of persons with dementia. Although a large number of persons with dementia can be cared for in the normal frail care setting, there are those individuals for whom care can best be provided in a specialized unit.

Rand Aid Association recently opened a specialized dementia unit at its Ron Smith Care Centre at Elphin Lodge. The unit boasts 32 single rooms most of which lead onto a spacious covered veranda. Families are encouraged to personalize each resident’s room by bringing pictures, a favourite chair and other items that will make the resident’s life comfortable and pleasant.

The large lounge and inter-leading dining room are pleasantly decorated and provide a social space as well as room for activities. Stimulating activities, according to residents’ abilities, are provided on a daily basis under the guidance of its own fulltime occupational therapist. These activities include arts and crafts, sensory stimulation and music therapy. Nursing staff have participated in training courses presented by Alzheimer’s South Africa and are well qualified to take care of this very vulnerable group of residents.

Fees include board and lodging, nursing care, doctor’s consultations, bed and bath linen as well as a laundry service. There is a physiotherapist on site and a podiatrist visits on a regular basis. A hairdresser and a beautician provide valuable personal care on site as it is important to maintain the dignity of residents.

The large landscaped grounds of the Ron Smith Care Centre attract a variety of birds and provide many opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy the beauty and tranquillity of nature. For more information contact Phyllis or Helen at Ron Smith Care Centre 011 882 6296 or email or

 

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