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According elderly people a dignified end

Petals Care, a care home for the elderly and those living with dementia, officially opened its doors in Riviersonderend.

And with that the dreams, prayers and vision Christine (Kate) Sequeira carried with her for eight years have been realised.

This dream started in the UK when she was a social worker-best interest assessor for the elderly in west London, working especially with those suspected of being abused. The flame of interest in caring for dementia patients was strongly lit, her “romance with dementia”.

In 2010, on holiday in South Africa she saw homelessness and the huge impact of dementia on the elderly, the latter when encountering the homeless in Hermanus. She returned to Australia, and for two years she tried unsuccessfully to buy land in the Overstrand Municipality.

In 2014, she moved to South Africa and first thing she established was the Petals Trust, to pursue her vision (“petals” captured her dream). The following year a house was bought in Riviersonderend to develop as a care home for elderly people with early onset and advanced dementia and those rendered homeless through powerlessness. Due process, safety and quality standards, calling for property structural alterations, had to be followed.

Petals Care, which accommodates up to 16, currently houses six people, with a few more to come in the months ahead. “The elderly have so much to offer,” Sequeira says, “with knowledge, wisdom, love, generosity and patience, which I just want to bring together – like flower petals that we use for potpourri or perfume.”

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