UPDATE: 1505 recoveries across Old Age Homes
The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) continues to monitor strict health and safety protocols across old age homes in the Province, to prevent the further spread of Covid-19.
As of the 7th September 2020, a total of 1505 older persons recovered from COVID-19, while 66 older persons were reported to still be infected by the virus.
This shows an increase of 102 recoveries and a decrease of 34 infections when compared to last week.
Minister Fernandez said, “Ensuring that older persons at old age homes are treated fairly and with dignity is of paramount importance to the work that our officials have been performing throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. I’m pleased that I can once again announce that we are continuing to experience a steady increase in Covid-19 recoveries across our old age homes.”
Minister Fernandez added, “ Our Department recently received the draft directions from the National Department of Social development which highlights that visitations will be allowed to take place from alert level 2. I am in full support of this directive as we are well-aware of how crucial it is for the general well-being of our older persons to see their loved ones.
Minister Fernandez continued, “When these draft directions are gazetted, we all need to be extra careful by following the strict COVID-19 health and safety protocols, to prevent new infections taking place at these facilities. I am under the firm belief that we can prevent a second wave of the virus from taking place, if we work together!”
DSD is guided by the Older Persons Act, which ensures that the Department implements its statutory obligations by ensuring that the facilities and programmes that are available for Older Persons comply with the statute and relevant norms and standards. The Department partners with the NPO sector, other government departments, tertiary institutions and local authorities in providing access to quality services to vulnerable Older Persons.
In promotion of the rights and dignity of older persons, the Department has also developed mechanisms for monitoring of services Older Persons in residential facilities and community-based centres.
Additional services being offered by the Department include the protection of the rights of Older Persons to be free from elder abuse and mindful of the various economic circumstances that impact negatively on the quality of life and well-being of Older Persons.
For the 2020/21 financial year, R 250 million has been budgeted towards services for Older persons. Over and above this support, the department has also reprioritised funding to ensure that various services and facilities (both funded and unfunded) are equipped with the necessary resources, to prevent further spread of the COVID-19.
In the Western Cape, there is a total of 300 old age homes of which, 117 are funded by the provincial Department of Social Development.
In response to the challenges that COVID-19 poses for old persons, the department has offered the following support to old age homes during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Protocols have been put in place between the provincial DSD and the Department of Health with regards to referrals of COVID-19 outbreaks at old age homes (NOTE: The Health department do screening and testing on-site at home with staff and residence - see link for more information Guidelines for Long Term Care Facilities and COVID-19).
- An additional R 1.7 million has been made available for old age homes for the management of COVID-19, over and above existing allocations.
- 150 000 masks, 5000 shield masks, 10 000 bars of soap and 18 000 Domestos all-purpose cleaner and 50 litres of sanitizers per Home have been distributed to old funded old age homes across the province.
- Additional relief staff are provided where and when needed.
- Specialised training for carers.
- Facilitated the deployment of volunteers to deep-clean old age homes – with a focus on homes in vulnerable communities and hotspot areas.
“I would like to encourage the public to frequently wash their hands, and to wear your masks correctly when leaving home. It is also crucial to clean all surfaces around you - whether it be at home or work. Let’s do everything we can to ensure that we stop the further spread of the virus and protect those who are older and live with high-risk comorbidities. By doing this we can get our province moving forward again,” concluded Minister Fernandez.
We urge the public to access credible information on https://www.westerncape.gov.za/department-of-health/coronavirus.
For more information about our other services, please refer to the Western Cape Department’s Website below: