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Protecting the elderly and frail

Residential facilities for the elderly and frail care centres have put special measures in place to protect the health not only of the elderly and frail but also those caring for them.

This comes in light of the fact that the World Health Organisation has declared the outbreak of the Corona virus as a global pandemic and has identified the elderly and those with chronic diseases, compromised immune systems and people living in group residences such as homes for the elderly as those most at risk.

Gayle Smith of Sofca in Hermanus has confirmed that the facility has instituted restrictions on visitors to the centre with immediate effect.

“Visiting hours have been reduced to once a day, between 14:30 and 15:30 for no more than two family members only. This situation will be monitored daily and, if necessary we will cancel all visitations immediately,” she explained. In addition to this, visitors’ temperatures will be taken and in the event of it being higher than 37,5 °C, the visitors will be asked to leave the centre. Steps also include recording residents temperatures on a log twice a day and measuring Sofca staff members’ temperatures at the start and end of shifts. Residents with a high temperature will be quarantined to their rooms. “The temperature of residents at Fynbos Park who request nursing assistance from Sofca will also be taken and logged. If their temperatures are over 37,5 °C, Sofca staff will not be able to attend to these residents and they will be asked to contact their doctors,” Smith explained. Volunteers have also been requested not to visit Sofca until further notice and any item delivered to the centre will be disinfected before being taken in.

“Sofca has requested that pharmacies dispense residents’ medication for an extra month in advance as a precautionary measure, should there be service delivery delays. We have also purchased cleaning material and food to last for one month in advance as a cautionary measure,” Smith stated.

Johan Botha, Village Manager at Kidbrooke Place, says residents of this facility are urged to only trust reliable sources of information for updates regarding the pandemic and not to spread panic. Kidbrooke residents have also been asked to travel less and to cut down on the number of visitors they receive.

“We urge and trust our residents to take up their social responsibility on an individual basis to protect themselves and all those around them in a purposeful manner until we as South African citizens have brought the spread of Covid-19 to a complete standstill in our country,” added Botha.

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