Ron Smith welcomes Marlé as new OT

Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre welcomes the appointment of Marlé Gräbe (23) as its new occupational therapist.

Marlé, who started at Ron Smith Care Centre on 3 January, will be helping Ron Smith’s recreation department to plan daily activities for residents, introduce new activities and help with the organisation of the care centre’s events.

A Kempton Park resident, Marlé studied occupational therapy at the University of Pretoria, completing her degree in 2020. She then completed her community service at Dr George Mukhari Hospital in 2021. Her post at Ron Smith Care Centre will be her first position as an independent practitioner.

“I’m looking forward to building relationships with Ron Smith’s residents and new ‘work family’, and am excited to bring new ideas and use my knowledge as an occupational therapist to build on the already established recreation programme,” says Marlé.

“I hope to introduce a wider variety of activities, increase participation in the programme and improve our residents’ quality of life through meaningful activities and fun,” she adds.

Marlé, whose ultimate aim is to inspire positive change and growth in the recreation department, wants to bring even more hope and joy to the residents. “I aim to advocate for the importance of a variety of opportunities for participation in meaningful activities for the elderly and frail in our care,” she says.

Her decision to become an occupational therapist was inspired by her enjoyment of trying new activities. Passionate about ‘creating’, Marlé has a wide range of hobbies, from painting to beading. She also loves dancing, reading, gardening and baking.

“I find so much joy and relaxation in my hobbies. They are vital to my well-being, and I was looking for a career in which I could continue to practice them. Occupational therapy gave me the opportunity to not only do these activities myself, but to also enable others to do what they want to do and reap the benefits of meaningful and enjoyable activity participation,” she says.

As for the near future, Marlé is engaged to computer engineer Ivan Eloff, and will be getting married in April.

“The staff at Rand Aid are all so welcoming and friendly, and made me feel at home from day one. The facility is beautiful, and a lovely environment to work and live in. I can see the dedication the staff and organisation have towards the residents and their well-being. I am very thankful for the opportunity I have been given, and look forward to the years ahead,” says Marlé.

She invites volunteers who would like to get involved in Ron Smith’s recreation programme – whether weekly, monthly or annually – to contact Debbie Christen at 011 882 6296 or email dchristen@randaid.co.za for more information.

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