Albert Fritz, Western Cape Minister of Social Development – “Department spends R228-million to promote Active Ageing and serve the elderly.”
“The first of October marks International Day of Older Persons, and is the official launch of Older Persons Month.
The Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) plays a leading role implementing integrated services for the care, support and protection of the provinces 520 000 people aged 60 years and older.
Key to our efforts is adopting a whole-of-society approach, which involves building partnerships with the private sector, NGOs, and individuals in our communities.
DSD has allocated over R228-million to the Older Persons Programme this financial year, which allows the department to implement the Older Persons Act and promote Active Ageing services and programmes.
Key to the departments work is to continue the campaign to register all residential facilities, whether state funded or private. Registration enables us to monitor the treatment and care of all older persons and to protect their rights and dignity at all times. The Older Persons Act prescribes three types of residential facilities;
Type of Facility Status Category
Independent Living Mobile and sound health 1
Assisted living Need some assistance 2
Frail (mental or physical) Bedridden 3
There are currently 134 independent living, assisted living and registered residential facilities in the province.
Our funding mainly goes to 355 NGOs rendering support services, residential and assisted living facilities to the elderly. Key services include the provision of frail care facilities, and specialised services, such as Alzeimer’s/Dementia care services – and the investigation of elder abuse. DSD also funds Community Based Care and support services, such 205 Service Centres.
Our services reach well over 25 000 older persons across the province, the vast majority of whom are the poorest of the poor.
The department does not run or manage any residential facilities, and thus makes subsidies available to registered homes. In this regard, proof of governance and sound financial skills according to the PFMA act is paramount.
The Department monitors and mandate investigations with regard to all complaints of abuse and lack of care and services. DSD holds a zero-tolerance approach towards the abuse and negligence of the elderly, and in the 2016/17 year, dealt with 267 cases of elderly abuse and neglect. The health, safety and development of older persons are the departments’ first priority.
In the context of a deteriorating economic climate, the Department would like to thank all stakeholders, NGOs and service providers who render services to older persons in the province under very difficult circumstances and with limited funds available.
The success of our interventions depends on every individual to taking responsibility for promoting the safety and well-being of the elderly in their communities. The public can report any suspected elder abuse or unregistered facility to the DSD hotline on 0800 220 250.”