New senior centre inLavender Hill

Martha Malkus, a member at the service centre.

Plumrus Retirement Home in Plumstead has established a seniors’ centre in Lavender Hill.

For R10 membership fee a year, the elderly have access to free clinic services, a meal, arts and crafts and more.

The centre is open from Monday to Thursday, from 9am to noon. It was set up in November 2018 but relaunched at a new venue, St Mark’s Anglican Church in Lavender Hill, on Monday February 10.

Rhodene Koense, the Community Service Centre Manager at Plumrus, said the centre started with 35 members in 2018 and now had about 100.

“Not everyone can afford to be in a retirement home,” she said.

She said Plumrus had looked at how it could take the retirement home to the people.

“We also do take-away meals on Tuesday for some of the old people who are bedridden, but the idea is for them to come and enjoy their meals here. To connect and share their stories.”

She said many elderly were home-bound, either caring for their grandchildren or fearing to go out because of gang crime in the area.

Their pensions were also often used to support entire families so there was little left over for them to spend on themselves.

“We want to create a space where they can have the time of their lives,” Ms Koense said.

Martha Malkus has been a member of the centre since 2018. She is known by everyone as the “Glamourous Granny”.

With purple hair and a short bright red dress, it is hard to believe that Ms Malkus is actually 79.

“I do my hair myself. They just cut it at the salon, but I colour it myself. I believe everything is art,” said the retired nurse.

“I love it here. They treat us five star,” she said.

Ms Malkus said she had done her nursing training at Groote Schuur Hospital in 1967, the year Christiaan Barnard performed the first heart transplant.

Ms Malkus also saved her husband’s life five years ago.

“My husband had an angina and I gave him CPR while waiting for the ambulance.

He passed away in the hospital but I was able to help him live just a little longer,” she said.

Ms Malkus now enjoys the services that the centre offers, saying that in particular, she admired the checking of high blood pressure and sugar levels that the centre provides to the elderly.

Another member Susan Cloete said, “As the elderly we learn to love each other here .We share everything and what happens here, stays here.”

Mavis Koopman, who had been a part of the club since 2018 said, “I’m another person because of this club. I used to never get to go out because I have to look after my children and grandchildren but now we go on trips, we have fun here. We even cry here and talk and pray for each other.”

Ms Koopman said that the senior citizens supported each other through life’s challenges.

“Last year we also went to the waterfront. All that dancing and the music, it was so much fun,” she said.