West senior citizens can’t afford old age homes

Tshwane metro Chairperson of Section 79 Oversight Committee, Thabisile Vilakazi and Shaun Wilkinson, Whip of Social Development Committee at the City of Tshwane, DA Gauteng Spokesperson for Social Development, Justus De Goede MPL and an elderly at Margaretha Ackerman Old Age Home conducting oversight visit. Photo: Supplied

Only 2% of senior citizens can afford old age homes such as Margaretha Ackerman, Van Rensburg and Louis Trichard in the west of Pretoria

This was revealed by DA Gauteng spokesperson for social development Justus De Goede after a recent inspection of these old age homes in Danville and Pretoria West.

Margaretha Ackerman old age home, for example, charges residents R6 000 for boarding per month.

Residents each receive only about a R1 700 subsidy per month from the Gauteng department of social development. This is in addition to R1 620 from SASSA grants.

The rest must be paid for by residents’ families.

Partially state-sponsored 24-hour frail care facilities, such as Louis Trichard old age home, charge as much as R9 000.

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Van Rensburg old age home residents are charged R4 000 per month. Only 21 of the 58 elderly residents at this old age home’s fees are paid for by their families. The home however seeks assistance with a bus to transport the elderly to the hospital and trips.

De Goede said money was definitely a stumbling block.

“It is up to the government to build such facilities and make it affordable to everyone.”

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The inspection by members of the municipality was part of social development month, which is in October.

Its aim was to see whether senior citizens made use of all the government services available to them. These services also include a toll-free care line number for older persons to report abuse.

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Kayla van Petegem

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