12Feb, 2021

Call for Corporates to dig deep to help care for vulnerable older people

By: | Tags: , | Comments: 0 | February 12th, 2021

The Association for the Aged is calling on Corporates and funders to dig deep to help the aged in our care, as we battle to close our deficit funding gap. This follows a dramatic drop in state, and donor funding, and an accompanying increase in Covid-19 expenses.

Tafta receives a state subsidy for elder care that is approximately 7% of what is needed. Compounding the shortfall, Tafta has been receiving only 50% of its usual funding allocation from the state for its service centres.

“Tafta has to fund a 64% shortfall in costs for elders in our care, excluding an elder’s pension contribution and the Department of Social Development subsidy we receive,” explains CEO Femada Shamam.  “This shortfall amounts to a R22 million annual operational deficit that Tafta meets through fundraising and investment programmes. We meet this target through various activities that include events, and activations which we have been unable to host in 2020.

“This year, the deficit is set to grow to approximately R26 million due to a difficult fundraising environment and ongoing Covid care costs. If we cannot reach out to vulnerable elders in the eThekwini region, almost 5 500 elders would be impacted. These elders depend on Tafta for their meals, community care and social support,” Shamam added.

Recent months have been extremely stressful, as we are also battling to fill vacancies in our rental and life rights accommodation facilities. During the Lockdown, we were not able to process new admissions. “Rental vacancies in fit accommodation contributes income towards the cross subsidisation model we use to care for our needy elders. We are continuously trying to fundraise through other means, including online appeals and fundraising drives and we are extremely grateful for the support of our individual givers, as corporate, and trust and foundation giving has been severely impacted. We have also implemented severe cost cutting measures, but as an NPO, we are concerned about the future of our services in the current climate.”

As an organisation with over 60 years of experience in elder care, Tafta continues to work tirelessly to protect its elders against the impact of the pandemic. Since our first case in June 2020, we have recorded a total of 135 positive elder cases and 47 positive staff cases. Sadly, we lost 22 elders and an outsourced staff member. A further 108 have recovered, and we have now finally reached a point where infections have dropped to just five active cases.

Nevertheless, the second wave hit us over the festive period with a force we were honestly not prepared for. We were working with skeleton staff as a result of the holidays and staff struck down with infection. Staff are also experiencing unprecedented levels of burnout as we fight the pandemic with as many hands on deck as possible.

We sincerely appeal to those Corporates able to assist, to please reach out and help us meet the financial demand of elder care.

If you are able to assist through the sponsorship of our elders in frail care or through the sponsorship of our outreach initiatives such as meals on wheels and home based care, please contact the Tafta Income Development and Public Relations department and speak to our Fundraising Manager Nirupa Kasserchun on 031 332 3721 or 084 437 8615 or email nirupak@tafta.org.za. Or contact Kemmy-Leigh Moodley at idpr@tafta.org.za.