Frail care centre makes nurses available for home visits

Elderly, bed-ridden and disabled residents from Beacon Valley can now access the help of two nurses from Beaconvale Community Frail Care Centre.

During its open day on Thursday June 13, the centre launched its outreach programme, through which they will pay stipends to two nurses to work in the community.

Solomon Philander, chairman of the centre’s board, said they received a monthly donation of
R2 000, which would be a contribution to this project.

Each nurse will work three two-hour slots, between 8am and 2pm Monday to Friday, at a home, whether it be bathing, grooming, cooking or reading to the patient, starting on July 1.

Mr Philander said it was important for carers to take a break occasionally and that expertise was needed in the community for the frail and infirm to be taken care of at home.

“Let us be a beacon in the community. We are here because of the people around us,” he said.

Mr Philander said family members had to work and earn a living.

“So, while you work to pay the bond and put food on the table, let us help with the vulnerable in your home,” he said.

“We want to assist, where we can and not just assist people at the centre but also those trying to make ends meet at home,” he said.

Board member Carol Mentor, who also works in the community, supplied a list of about five households who require assistance, whether it be to dress a wound, change a catheter, give the carer a break or to take the patient to collect medicine.

“There is a great need in our community for professional medical help,” she said.

Centre manager Raymond Mitchell said anyone could apply for assistance and that each home would be assessed. “We cannot leave things to chance and we need to be sure that we are helping those in need,” he said.

Mr Mitchell said the nurses would not be sent into hostile environments and that they would refer family members to the Department of Social Development, to the police or clinics for further intervention or assessment, when necessary.

The 24-year-old community centre employs two sisters, four enrolled nursing assistants, 46 carers and is a place a learning for tertiary institution students.

They also employ a gardener, who takes care of the premises.

They offer 24-hour nursing environment for the frail; a daycare service for the elderly, from Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Hanover Park and Manenberg; an educare for 86 pupils, aged between three and five; tenancy to the Mitchell’s Plain Network Opposing Abuse, the Mitchell’s Plain Older Persons’ Forum; the Pentecostal Full Gospel Church; and residency.

For more information call 021 376 1444 / 5 or visit the centre, corner of Rambler and Pontiac streets, in Beacon Valley.