Rand Aid is recognised internationally in a report by WHO

Rand Aid Association, based in Lyndhurst, Johannesburg, was recently recognised in a World Health Organisation (WHO) report, covering the development of long-term elderly care in sub-Saharan Africa.

The WHO report discusses Rand Aid Association Rand Aid’s financial model as a one of the possible pathways in promoting sustainability, equity and accessibility in senior care. It also recognises the importance of the organisation’s person-centred approach that aims to improve the dignity of care-dependent seniors.

In the report, it explains that Rand Aid is a registered, non-profit organisation that serves a dual purpose.  Rand Aid provides a range of upscale retirement accommodation and long-term care to older people who can afford it. This generates a source of income that’s used to assist other elderly people in need.’

Property in Rand Aid’s Retirement Villages is sold on Life Rights, which means residents buy the right to live in the village, and they (or their estate) receive 80% of the initial purchase price when they sell, or depart. Residents also pay a monthly fee for services available to them.


Rand Aid villages offer accommodation, 24-hour security, nursing care, cleaning services, garden services, physiotherapy and podiatry.


Every effort is made to ensure residents’ needs are met in every way. At one of Rand Aid’s two long-term facilities, the residents pay for their board and lodge in full.


The other facility receives a small government subsidy, but it is funded mainly by Rand Aid, through a cross-subsidy of a portion of the 20% of the life rights purchase price.


The frail care facilities offer multi-disciplinary, personalised day-to-day living care. They have adopted the Eden Alternative philosophy – which is driven to transform traditionally run long-term care facilities into environments that offer warm, and offer individualised care.


In December 2016, Rand Aid’s Ron Smith Care Centre became the first organisation in Gauteng – and only the second in Africa – to become a member of the Eden Alternative South Africa registry. The recognition by WHO is welcome, especially when so much has gone into establishing the centre’s care philosophy which is based on the principles of person-centred care and personal freedom of choice.


Residents’ families are involved in care planning and individuals are encouraged to exercise autonomy in their day-to-day lives as much as possible.


There are integrated care teams, consisting of nurses, nursing assistants, social workers, occupational therapists, on-call medical doctors, recreation officers and volunteers that provide a range of services to residents in these facilities.


The frail care centre is situated in one of the retirement villages, so seniors can advance to the next level of care in the same familiar space, as needed. This facility also features a specialised dementia unit. The subsidised frail care facility, which is set in beautifully spacious grounds, accommodates 180 seniors, in particular need of 24-hour nursing care.


Rand Aid is over 100 years old, and the organisation has proved financial sustainability, demonstrating the effectiveness of the cross-subsidisation model – which requires careful financial balance between income-generating activities and fundraising.


In response to WHO report, Rand Aid CEO, Rae Brown, said that ‘This is an excellent recognition of the efforts of the organisation to provide sustainable care to seniors across the income spectrum and to ensure that the principles of dignity and respect are enhanced through a person-centred approach.’