Rand Aid’s Inyoni Creek retirement village has pulled together in the face of the coronavirus lockdown.
Complex manager Jenny Tonkin says there is a very good vibe in the village. “Residents are quick to help each other where they can; for instance, mowing the lawn of a neighbour unable to do the task themselves. They are practising social distancing but on the whole, are very positive and supportive of all measures taken to prevent the spread of the virus in our village.”
She says the initiative to make reusable, washable fabric masks has been embraced by Inyoni Creek’s residents – and those of the other Rand Aid retirement villages. “It has enabled residents to do something meaningful in the fight against the pandemic.”
“My office staff and I phone batches of residents each day, just to chat, see if they have concerns or need help in any way. I also go out with our village sister, Hannie Combrink, to knock on doors and have a catch-up with residents. We don’t go inside – unless there is a problem that needs to be resolved – but rather stand a few metres away.”
Jenny says when one lady was phoned to see how she was, she burst into tears. “There are times when the uncertainty of everything gets overwhelming and we want our residents to know that we are here for them and that we care.
“Our staff members have been fantastic too,” she says. “They realise the vital role they are playing.”
Inyoni Creek retirement village’s Khanyisile Shelembe and Johanna Libisi, both members of the housekeeping team, know the importance of practising good hygiene and following government’s social distancing regulations. During the coronavirus lockdown, Rand Aid’s housekeeping teams deemed essential to the functioning of the retirement villages and care centres reported for duty each day. Safety measures were put in place to minimise their risks of contracting the virus when travelling to work, including the provision of sanitiser and masks. Once at work, they were screened for any symptoms of the virus and changed out of their travel clothes and into their uniforms. Rand Aid and its residents value these personnel for continuing to serve during very testing times.
Men at work… Inyoni Creek residents Graham Brokenshire (vacuuming), John Hooper (cleaning the stove), Bill Bergman (making breakfast) and Roger Matthews (washing dishes) had plenty to keep them busy during the coronavirus lockdown.
Inyoni Creek resident Lynn Taitz brings in masks that she made as part of a cross-village initiative to sew masks for essential workers employed by Rand Aid Association. Also pictured is Marinda Looyen, Inyoni Creek’s deputy complex manager.