20Feb, 2018

More to celebrate in elder care

By: | Tags: | Comments: 0 | February 20th, 2018

Not only is Tafta celebrating its 60-year history of care for Durban’s elderly this year, we are also commemorating another milestone: the establishment of our Home based care service, which was initiated in 1964.

Launched to address the lack of resources to assist frail elderly in the community, the service employs social workers to visit older people who don’t have access to care facilities or treatment. Reports from the early years show that 1 816 home visits were paid during the period 31 March 1965 to 31 March 1966.

Fifty-two years later, the Home Based Care programme has made a significant contribution to caring for elders in communities within Tafta’s areas of operation including Clairwood, Wentworth and the Ilungelo Labadala village of Amaoti in Inanda.

Tafta CEO says, “Over the years, the Home Based Care service has grown to become one of our most vital community service programmes. In the previous reporting period, Home Based Care visits totalled a staggering 31 905, more than 10 000 more than the previous year.”

Explaining the programme, Shamam said each person requiring Home Based Care is referred by a Social Worker. “The Home Based Care Nursing Services Manager will visit the client to assess the needs and discuss the service. She will also provide advice or training to the caregivers.

“Assessments are conducted to determine whether a client requires full-time care in one of our units or whether they will manage in their own homes with support. Charges are levied according to income.”

The range of services offered include personal hygiene services, e.g. bathing, washing, dressing etc; making beds and tidying rooms; and daily medication issue for those based in a Tafta residence. Community members can attend weekly clinics at our wellness centres to have blood sugar levels and blood pressure checked.

Those in need can also reach out to Tafta for the temporary loan of medical equipment such as wheelchairs, and walking frames.

Residents of the Ilungelo Labadala village have utilised the Home Based Care service extensively since the programme’s introduction there in 2006. Currently, trained carers care for 45 housebound people in the community. Many of the village’s elderly residents rely on these carers to help with the administration of medication, bathing and other needs.

The programme has not only given much needed support to these house bound elders, it has also assisted unemployed community members with an income.

“Tafta’s vision has always been about inspiring a life worth living,” explains Shamam. When we identified the need of the vulnerable in the Amaoti community, we believed we could make a difference with our service offerings, including a food security gardening project, charity shop and meal provision service.”

Clairwood residents and siblings Mr Subramoney Reddy and his sister, Mrs Velliamma Naidoo have been beneficiaries of the Home Based Care programme since 2010. Both are stroke survivors and in need of assistance with the administration of medication, daily baths and wound dressing. Mr Reddy, who is 66 years of age, says the siblings are grateful for the free service they receive from Tafta, which supports them to live independently without being a burden to family.

Wentworth resident Agnes Warner feels the same way. She has been using the Home Based Care programme since 2017: “God bless the carers at Tafta. They have come to my rescue when arthritis has left me with knees that barely function and I am so grateful for their care”.

To learn more about the Home Based Care programme, contact us on 031 332 3721 or email info@tafta.org.za