Home Based Care
Home Based Care Service
Can you imagine your life as a person with disabilities? You can’t perform the most menial, yet crucial tasks – like eating, bathing and going to the toilet – and you can’t afford to hire someone to help you.
That’s when you would realise just how important our HOME BASED CARE GIVERS are. Without them hundreds of people would experience indescribable suffering. They roll up their sleeves and do whatever it takes to make life worth living “It is not an easy job, but we work together as a team, share ideas, sing, and pray to release stress,” says Manager of APD’s Home Based Care Services, Miemie Retsuri.
APD’s Social Workers started the Home Based Care Service in 1990, after they had determined that there was a need for a home-based care program in the community as many persons’ with disabilities and bedridden people were living in desperate circumstances without anything to eat or drink, and nobody to clean them. In some cases family members had left their jobs in order to care for their disabled people, with the result that the household income had either been dramatically reduced, or completely dried up, causing even more serious problems.
Volunteers Fade after a While
Initially, volunteers were recruited and trained to care for and assist people with severe disabilities in their own homes. But due to poverty conditions and the nature of the work – the duties of a care giver involve a lot of physical work, e.g. bathing a persons’ with disabilities involves bending, lifting and turning – it was difficult to retain volunteers.
Because of all the problems with volunteers, the APD decided rather to employ people as care givers. Late in 1990 the organisation employed the first batch of care givers and trained them in activities of daily living, e.g. bathing, exercises, incontinent management, dressing of bed sores and light meal preparation.
Since then, our care givers have helped many hundreds of people, such as James…
James Mohangwane was involved in a motor vehicle accident at the age of 27 in October 2004. James was paralysed from the neck down and could not speak.
James remained in a coma for five months being tranferred to various hospitals in the hope that he would recover. Eventually James was discharged and sent home to be cared for by his family.
In March 2005, Lina Makgopa, an APD Home Based Caregiver, began providing care for James, basic necessities such as bathing, dressing etc. James could only move his eyes and there was some doubt as to whether James would be able to recover.
Working as a team, Lina and James’ mother continued to assist James. Lina introducing daily exercises to keep his muscles working whilst his mother attended to the necesities. After a few months James began to move his body and was able to eat solid food.
With the dedication of Lina and the love and care that James received from his mother, James started to slowly make some progress. After a year, James could sit, eat independently, and later transferred himself on to the wheelchair but still could not speak. Gradually his speach began to return much to the delight of his family and the APD Caregiving team.
Over a period of time and with the continued support of APD Caregivers, James began to use a walking aid taking small steps at first before being able to start walking short distances unaided.
Today James uses a crutch as assistance when he walks long distances. Not only has James regained his mobility, his ability to speak but James now runs his own taxi and telephone shop.
James was determined that he would never have to be dependent on a disability grant from the government. His success story is inspirational. James will forever be grateful to the support that he received from the APD Caregivers and the love and support provided by his family.
We congratulate James on his success and wish him everything of the best for the future.
Although James no longer needs the services of APD’s Home Based Careworkers, there are many who will need their assistance for the rest of their lives. This crucial service requires constant funding to meet the needs of our beneficiaries. Contributions towards this service are always gratefully received.
Mixed Bag of Surprises
Being a care giver is not an easy job, but we forge ahead. We work together as a team, share ideas, sing, and pray to release stress. That’s why we still continue to make a difference in the lives of persons’ with disabilities.
Nobody knows what the future holds. If the past is anything to go by, the future will be a mixed bag of surprises. But the one certainty is that we will continue to assist as many people as possible each year to become independent.
Our main focus remains quadriplegics and severely physically disabled people. And we do not discriminate; how and why people become disabled or bedridden is not important to us. We cannot predict how many advanced Aids clients we will encounter, but we do know that the foreseeable future will show an increase in need.
And, when the inevitable comes, we provide a better quality of life allowing dignity and respect to be retained in terminal cases…
…With your help, the APD will always be able to reach out and render a professional service to those who can’t help themselves.