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Old age home can’t afford to offer 24/7 care

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Shortage of funds prevents home from providing 24 hour care to elderly

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THE GALESHEWE Association for the Care of the Aged and Disabled (Gaasca) is not able to offer 24-hour care, seven days a week to residents staying at the old age home in Galeshewe, due to a shortage of finances.

Chairperson of the board, Kenneth Hlakludi, stated that the home cared for residents referred to them by social workers as well as those who were brought there by their families, provided that they had the available space.

“Due to a lack of funds we do not offer a round-the-clock service and we also operate on a five-day basis. These people are notified when they are signed in that their families will have to feed them over weekends,” said Hlakludi.

He indicated that security personnel were given instructions to notify the centre manager if there were any health or safety-related emergencies if there were no staff on duty at Gaasca.

“We, however, do have staff members who go the extra mile and come over weekends to check on the people,” he added.

Hlakludi explained that Petrus Hermanus Barnardo was transferred to Resthaven home, where they offer 24-hour care.

Hlakludi stated that following his death, Gaasca had taken over the preparations for Barnardo’s funeral as he had informed them that he had no family in Kimberley.

“Upon discovering that there was no money, his lifeless body was rushed back to Gaasca for burial. He was staying at our facility for some time.

“We make sure that the residents have burial policies so that their funeral arrangements can be taken care of.

“We were informed that some relative who had fallen from the sky had come to claim his body for burial. We obtained the impression that this person thought that the deceased had an inheritance.”

Spokesperson for the Department of Social Development, Gamiem Abrahams, indicated that Gaasca old age home was run by a non-profit organisation that was registered with the department.

“As with all registered NGOs we pay a subsidy per person who is eligible to be facilitated at the centre,” said Abrahams.

“This home also serves as a service centre where old people come during the day and have activities. They are provided with meals and leave after the day’s activities.”

He added that those who resided at the centre had to be 60 years of age or older.

“The infirm and or disabled are sent to other centres or facilities that cater for them.”