Christmas comes early for seniors

Village Care and Aged Centre residents Alwyn Lappchen, Isaac Roberts and Johnny Jaggsman were happy to receive their gifts.

Steenberg police, along with some donors, held an outreach programme at the Village Care and Aged Centre home last week.

Station commander Colonel Hannes Nel, who initiated the project, chose the home out of the Steenberg precinct and put a committee together to collect gifts, food and to provide services for the battling old aged home.

Officers from the station then handed over the gifts on Wednesday November 29 and provided a meal for residents.

Earlier this year the home’s management sent out a request for assistance at the facility which was in a dilapidated state with a leaking roof and other maintenance issues.

The home isn’t government funded and management relies on the residents’ funds to keep the facility running, including paying staff and for food and other essentials like transport.

Colonel Barbara Toua said the facility was chosen because they were made aware of the lack of funds and resources and asked various companies to donate food, funds, goodies and services for the residents and to refurbish the facility.

“We felt that we had to put all effort into helping as much as we could because we saw the need. We wanted them to be a little bit less worried this Christmas so we put something together and got a few companies to commit to rendering some much needed services,” she said.

Some of the services include electrical repairs, painting, gardening and funds were collected to buy electricity.

Colonel Toua called on the broader community to help the home.

“I really want to call on people to look after the older people because we are all going to grow old and might end up in facilities like Village Aged and we will need people to look after us.

“We can’t just dump our older people at these facilities and leave them to fend for themselves so if we all take hands and work together to help such facilities we can make a difference in the late stage of their lives.”

Shiela Hendricks and Kitty Sterkfontein at the outreach on Wednesday.

Berenice Blaauw, director for the home, said it’s been tough to keep the facility running because they only have the residents’ pension funds to depend on. She added the facility has been struggling to become compliant in order to receive funding.

“For us to become compliant we need specific things to become registered for funding and we just don’t have the money. We appeal to people to come onboard and help us to apply and help us become compliant so that we can give our residents a better home.”

Ms Blaauw thanked all the donors and said the assistance has lifted the spirits of the elders.

“The event was so uplifting and it really sparked so much joy from our residents. It means so much to know that people still care and are willing to help.”

Some of the other needs for the facility include kitchen tiles, appliances, meat and other food items, detergents and funds for electricity.

For more information or to donate, contact Berenice on 079 824 0708.

Sponsors and donors for the outreach on Wednesday include Blue Ribbon, MK Recycling, Sibaletsa Electrical, Fairfield gardening services, Pick n Pay, Spar, 1Up and the Steenberg CPF.