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Committed to helping elders overcome daily challenges caused by diminished abilities

Simoné Botha, Ron Smith Care Centre’s new occupational therapist, is passionate about frail care because she loves being in a position to brighten someone’s day.

“It is rewarding to see how occupational therapy (OT) can make a person’s life easier in many small ways,” she says.

Simoné, who grew up in Centurion, matriculated from Zwartkop High School before studying OT at the University of Pretoria. She completed her community service year at Witrand Specialised Hospital in Potchefstroom, working on physical and neurological rehabilitation, psychiatry, and intellectual disability.

She worked with children for a year in Pretoria before moving to a retirement centre in Midrand, where she says she found h

er calling.

“I find interacting with the residents, individually or in groups, most rewarding,” she says.

Simoné says she always knew that she wanted to work directly with people. “My sister suggested OT and after shadowing occupational therapists and learning the different aspects of OT, I knew it was the field for me.”

She joined the recreation department of the Rand Aid-run care centre in Lyndhurst on December 1.

Highest level of care

“Since joining the Rand Aid family, I have experienced that the organisation is committed to a high standard of care and that they prioritise the well-being of the residents.

“I am privileged to be a part of the recreation team, which has made it easy for me to settle in because the activities that we do are well-aligned with the outcomes of OT for elders.”

Impact of OT

“OT can help combat loneliness, helplessness, and boredom by engaging elders in meaningful groups and providing them with appropriate activities,” she explains.

“Occupational therapists can make life that bit easier for elders in need of care by equipping care partners with the re

levant skills to facilitate engagement during daily tasks and activities.”

In a nutshell, says Simoné, OT strives to improve well-being by engaging care centre residents in a variety of physical, cogni

tive and social activities. By staying engaged in tasks, residents maintain their abilities for longer.

Simoné and hubby of two years have lived in Fourways for a little over a year.

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