Ron Smith Care Centre has pioneered person-centred care by becoming the first organisation in Africa to achieve Milestone 2 on the Eden Alternative® Registry, in April 2020.
Founded in America by a Harvard-educated physician, the Eden Alternative is revolutionising the way in which Elders are cared for. The core concept is about teaching us to see places where Elders live as habitats for human beings rather than facilities for the frail and elderly. Eden Alternative thus sees aging as a continued stage of development and growth and not as a period of decline.
At the end of 2016, after a process of physical, cultural, organisational and personal transformation, the criteria for Milestone One was reached and the care centre became only the second in Africa to achieve Eden Registry membership. In 2020, we achieved Milestone Two, becoming the first organisation in Africa to do so.
The Eden Alternative initiative ensures that we bring the highest level of care and wellbeing to our residents and takes into account their holistic wellbeing, not just their physical care.
Ron Smith Care Centre units
Ron Smith Care Centre’s accommodation
Eleven double rooms with veranda access for couples, or for one person requiring a spacious suite with separate bed and sitting areas; as well as five spacious, inner single rooms are available. All rooms are en-suite with ample built-in cupboards. Residents are urged to bring items of furniture and pictures for their comfort. Private dining facilities and a sitting room create a warm and homely atmosphere.
Lakeside offers 20 single rooms with private toilet and handbasin. There is adequate space for a few favourite items of furniture and direct access to the gardens from all rooms. The wing includes private dining facilities and comfortable lounge areas for visiting family and friends.
Three separate wings each offer 93 single rooms with handbasins, the majority leading onto a spacious covered veranda. The rooms offer adequate space for a favourite chair and a television. Bathroom facilities are shared in well-appointed bathrooms with walk-in showers. Meals are taken in the main dining room or in the cosy dining areas on the wings. Pleasant and comfortable television / sitting rooms are available for residents and their visitors.
Memory loss and specialised dementia care
Dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, is growing worldwide and the situation in South Africa is no different.
As this is a progressive disease, it is often difficult for family members to care for a loved one at home. The loss of memory and understanding, difficulty in performing previously routine tasks and personality or mood changes place a heavy burden on the primary caregiver. These difficulties are more pronounced if the carer is an elderly spouse or an adult child trying to cope with the conflicting demands of his/her own family, holding down a job and taking care of the parent.
It is therefore no surprise that care centres for older persons experience an increased demand for the care of persons with memory loss. We follow an integrated approach by caring for persons affected by memory loss in the accommodation they and their family prefer, amongst their peers. We have also dedicated one of our Riverlodge wings for the care of persons living with severe memory loss and who need special care and protection with full-time nursing care. As in our other wings, we encourage a homely atmosphere and for families to furnish the resident’s room with pictures and photos reminiscent of happy times, a favourite chair as well as other items that will make the resident’s life comfortable and pleasant.
Our wing for residents with severe memory loss is pleasantly decorated and provides a social space as well as room for dining and recreation. Stimulating activities, according to residents’ abilities, are provided daily under the guidance of a full-time occupational therapist. These activities include arts and crafts, sensory stimulation and music therapy.
Nursing staff have participated in training courses presented by Alzheimer’s South Africa and are well qualified to take care of this very vulnerable group. All of our personal care services, such as hairdressing, beauty treatments and manicures are available for residents with memory loss as it is important to maintain their dignity despite their impairments. Families are also welcome to use any of our facilities, such as the lapas and coffee shop, to spend time with their loved one or to celebrate special occasions. We also offer a professional support group service to families as we recognise how difficult it is to cope with the memory loss of a loved spouse or parent.
- Inter-denominational chapel, shared with Elphin Lodge.
- Staffed recreation centre offering crafts and activities of interest to residents, under the guidance of an occupational therapist. Also large, well-equipped hall and snooker and card rooms, shared with Elphin Lodge.
- Library, shared with Elphin Lodge.
- A physiotherapist, podiatrist, beautician and manicurist provide services by appointment.
- Dining room seating area.
- DSTV in lounge areas.
- Entertainment, crafts and recreational activities.
- Elphino’s Coffee Shop and tuck shop.