The present-day realities of Hanover Park as a township is rooted in South Africa's apartheid past. So while it is demographically youthful, the paucity of services to meet the needs of older persons places them amongst our society's most vulnerable. Whilst government departments acknowledge the challenges they face in their attempts to engineer a full spectrum of services to vulnerable groups, the gap between political rhetoric and grassroots realities continues. The shift from institutional care, to care of older persons in their communities, while supported, places enormous strain on families in poor communities. Already burdened by poverty, such communities simply do not have the resources or the support structures to maintain satisfactory level of dignified support and care to the frail, disabled and chronically ill. In this regard aged care was established in 1982 and was expanded to include community care in 1993. Main activities include service centre programmes (social, recreational & educational activities), residential care, day services, respite care and other additional services. Additional stimulation to the elderly is provided via the holiday exchange programme, cooking competition, puppetry programme & the annual olympiatrics.
Innovation: Interdisciplinary approach in a poor community. Services range from day programmes for the well elderly and therapy specific programmes for those rendered frail through disabling conditions such as stroke and Alzheimer's disease. Programmes meet actual gaps in service delivery to the poor and those disabled by stroke and Alzheimer's disease.
Effectiveness: Achievements include the establishment of G.H. Starke and Rehoboth Age Exchange Centre that provide housing for 136 elderly as well as day care and rehabilitation programmes for about 150 persons. Many affected by stroke and Alzheimer's disease, who attend between 1-5 days per week. Providing dignified care and facilities. 100% of targeted clients reached.
Poverty Impact: Housing for the elderly, access to health, social & rehabilitation services at community level.
Sustainability: Debt free for all capital costs. Volunteers needed! Obstacle present level of state funding.
Replication: Right team of people needed with a good work ethic. Convince funders to invest in troubled communities. Sound management & accounting skills so as to foster funder confidence.