Quality of life for the frail and indigent aged
Issy Geshen provides all the services needed to offer quality of life to our frail and indigent elderly residents. The home currently experiences a shortfall of R2659 per month per resident.
“They shopped till they dropped” (almost)
Beth Shalom home for retired Jewish citizens in Durban kindly sent us a generous gift at Christmas, so residents could simply “spoil themselves”. Over a couple of days, we took all those who are mobile to a nearby shopping centre where they “shopped till they dropped”. And those who weren’t able to go, gave their wish-lists to their friends. What a wonderful morning they had and how it lifted their spirits!
The Issy Geshen Lamont Home has a link with Beth Shalom in that our founder, Issy Geshen, opened the Beth Shalom Retirement Home in 1970 and was their first chairman.
Thank you for your kindness, Beth Shalom! You brought unexpected pleasures into the lives of our elders.
We came second at Choir Festival
Singing is a way of bringing joy into everyone’s lives. So we again organized the 4th annual Interhome Choir Festival, which took place in November at the Muthande Community Hall in Lamontville. Our sincere thanks for the certificates and prizes go to the KZN Department of Arts and Culture and to the Office of the Premier who organised the catering.
Eight choirs took part, each singing two songs of their own choice. St Antonine Home came all the way from Dundee and another from Pietermaritzburg, the remainder were from the Durban area. The standard was very high and the 350 strong audience were richly entertained. We’re very proud of our choir which came second and won R3 000.00. They’re aiming for the floating trophy and top spot this year!
This is a wonderful event – it’s a time to compete, have fun, socialise, sing and dance, bringing joy to everyone, singers and spectators alike.
Older Persons’ Week outing to Ushaka
Older Persons’ Week is celebrated every year at the beginning of October and we always treat our elders to something different and special. This year was a trip to Ushaka Marine World and what an amazing eye-opener it was for them. None had ever been before
Durban Transport provided a People Mover bus and we took 15 elders. They loved the dolphin show and the seals and looking at all the shops. It was a long walk (or wheelchair ride for some) from the entrance, but they were not perturbed by the unseasonal cold weather and a chilly wind blowing off the sea. They all enjoyed every minute.
Helping those less fortunate than us
No-one is more aware than our elders of the hardship of not having life’s basic essentials. So our staff and seniors worked together to make up parcels of surplus clothing and blankets for the people of Clare Estate Informal Settlement, after their homes were gutted by a fire.
It’s not clear how the devastating fire started but the end result was that many were left homeless, with only the clothes they had on their backs. On the roads, we saw burnt fridges, stoves and furniture, but some people were already hard at work re-building their shelters by the time we arrived.
We were welcomed by members of the community who were very grateful for the donation, especially the blankets, because it was still chilly at night. We were pleased to have been of some assistance.
Residents’ Christmas Party in December
Christmas is probably the most important celebration to our residents. And thanks to each and every wonderful friend who contributed to our “party fund”, each resident could say what they would like to receive “from Father Christmas”.
An anonymous donor offered two sheep for the Christmas meal. Such was the excitement, a team of diligent workers willingly assisted in the preparation of a blessed feast with dumplings, rice, vegetables. Cool drinks and dessert were also served. In true Zulu tradition, not a scrap was wasted – there was a dish for every part of the animals.
It was a rare occasion for our residents to celebrate in this way, so from time to time, their joy was demonstrated in outbursts of ululation.
The Chairman of the Residents’ Committee, Mr Boniface Mdhladhla thanked all those who had made this event possible. “I, as Chairman of the Residents Committee, hereby applaud and rejoice for what our management has done for us unexpectedly, without provocation, but with abundant love and fellowship. It will forever remain a vivid and gracious gesture that will be in the annual book of history of this establishment.”
One might pause to wonder why we celebrate Valentine’s Day, as none of our residents has a beloved spouse to pledge their devotion to. But it’s so much more than that. It’s a chance to show their love to the friends they live with and their appreciation of the staff who give generously of themselves to care for each and every one of the residents. We wish we could include you too.
On Valentine’s Day, we were visited by the children of Mbalencane crèche as part of our inter-generational programme – which gogo doesn’t enjoy the pleasure of spending time with little ones? We all sang and danced, and followed the activities with cake and tea, and juice for the kiddies.
The residents’ lounge was beautifully decorated with bright red hearts and bows, bringing a lovely warm feeling to the room. No-one wanted to take them down afterwards!
Our residents loved their “dip” on a hot day
We’re lucky to live very close to the Lamontville public swimming pool and those who are able love to go for a refreshing swim in the pool. What a wonderful form of exercise for “old bodies”.
Most, of course, cannot swim but they do enjoy dipping their toes into the refreshing water to cool off. Some simply like to watch the others, enjoy the sun and a chance to sit on the benches on the grass and chat.
We’re desperately short of baggies and swimming costumes, so if you could help with any of those, we’d be very grateful. Thank you.
Knitting and crafting
Our big project of the year is our 67 Blankets for Mandela. At least a dozen ladies sit together regularly to knit and crochet blankets which are given to needy people in our community – and there are many!
Thankfully we’ve received donations of new wool as well as “half-complete” items which we unpick to recycle the wool.
Sabina has made quite a name for herself with her beautifully crafted funky dolls, made with scraps of wool and fabric. You’ll often see her cat cuddled up on her chair with her while she works. Comforting, and comforted!
The cost per resident is
Funded by 100% of the resident’s government pension
and (average) government subsidy
Shortfall per resident per month
R7214 per month
How we’re funded:
Our annual budget for 2018 is about R6 million.
If not for the kindness and generosity of business, groups and individuals, we’d never be able to meet our budget deficit of
R2.2 million every year.
The challenge we are facing right now is that the shortfall increases every year because the cost of living – certainly the items we spend money on – increases by a higher percentage than the amount by which the government increases pensions and subsidies. So it’s becoming ever more difficult, almost impossible now, to meet this shortfall. Can you help? Your kindness will give our old people security into the future. The alternative is unthinkable!
You can give safely and securely online, right now, simply click here. [link to ‘how you can help’ page] Your gift will reach us immediately. We’d be very grateful!
If you’d prefer to make your donation by electronic funds transfer or direct deposit into our bank account, our bank account details appear below. Please be sure to use your phone number are the reference so that we can thank you for your kindness.
WHY WE NEED YOUR HELP