Rand Aid Association shared its knowledge and experience on the long-term care of the elderly at the second African International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG) Conference held in Nairobi, Kenya, in December 2016.
The mission of IAGG is to promote the highest levels of achievement in gerontological research and training worldwide. This with a view to enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of all people who are ageing.
Based in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg, Rand Aid sent two members of its management team – Ayanda Matthews, GM Compliance & Social React Division; and Zabeth Zühlsdorff, GM Services and Advance Division – to Nairobi to present a case study on its financing model for long-term care, as well as the implementation of person-centred care in its care facilities.
“Several international and African attendees approached after our presentations to ask additional questions and share contact information. The African attendees were especially interested in the person-centred model and the emphasis on the close and warm relationships between staff and residents as well as forming small ‘family’ groups in a large facility.
“Due to the cultural prejudices against institutional care, the person-centred approach makes residential care more palatable. A delegate who also runs a residential care facility suggested that we should come and do training for their staff on how to care for elders appropriately.
“They had visited our website and were amazed by our services and the positive feedback we get from residents,” says Zabeth.
Ayanda adds that delegates, including some from South African universities, were interested in the Rand Aid funding model, and the wide extent of welfare services our organisation is able to provide as a result of this.
“The North West University has a strong focus on ageing research and approached us about the possibility of providing research opportunities to their post graduate students.
“The Rand Aid funding and quality of care models were items selected for further discussion at the conference. Our life right model of funding welfare services should be of interest to the growing middle class in Africa as the need for services for older people continues to grow.”
The two agree that it was an interesting conference during which they met professionals from the World Health Organisation, CommonAge, HelpAge International, UN Focal Point on Ageing, Global Social Initiative on Ageing, International Red Cross and London School of Economics, amongst others.
“These contacts will be valuable to gain information on ageing, monitoring tools, training resources and service delivery models,” says Zabeth.