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Downes Murray International News

Caring for Cape Town's elderly

Established in 1981, NOAH’s holistic model of support ensures that approximately 700 social pensioners can continue to lead purposeful and engaged lives.   

NOAH provides accommodation, health and social support services for pensioners – helping them to remain independent. In doing so, families and communities are relieved of the burden of care, ensuring that children and grandchildren are also cared for.

South Africa has a rapidly ageing population – and since the country is underprepared to cope with the implications of this situation – older persons are left vulnerable, isolated and neglected. Of these people, 3,3 million are social pensioners whose sole income is R1600 per month.

This pension is often shared with other members of the household, leaving pensioners unable to afford accommodation, daily food and health care.

People in this type of situation often end up living in abject poverty, suffering the effects of malnutrition, hunger and chronic illness, along with the psychological impact of ageing – a growing sense of helplessness, anxiety and possible abandonment.

The NOAH model mitigates the harsh reality of abject poverty, through:

  • 11 safe, compliant and affordable communal houses offering dignity, companionship and independence to 103 residents;
  • One assisted living home providing care and oversight for 14 less independent residents;
  • Two primary health care clinics, offering bi-weekly doctors clinics with a focus on preventative and promotive health services for 425 members;
  • And two community centres offering financial support (including income generating self-help projects), social support, wellness support, access to information, and referrals to 154 members.

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