Coronavirus – HSFA takes measures to “flatten the curve”.

Coronavirus – HSFA takes measures to “flatten the curve”.

Dear Residents, Family and Staff,
HSFA places the health of our residents, family and staff first.
HSFA acknowledges the potential exponential spread of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in South Africa and that the older persons, especially those with underlying medical conditions in our Frail Environment and Assisted Living Units are compromised and particularly vulnerable to infection.
Our Task Team Mandate:
• To keep abreast of the development and spread of the virus and advise HSFA on the management of this.
• Our Unit Manager Sr Schenell Rossouw, Nursing Care Manager Mr Frederick de Bruyn, and Night Shift Infection Control Sr Mr JP Walekwa have been for training at Karl Bremmer Hospital on the 6th March 2020 on how to manage the process and networking with relevant Infection Control departments on Government level.
• HSFA has commenced with in house training on Infection Control specific to Coronavirus disease 2019
• HSFA has a strict zero tolerance approach toward non-compliance.
• HSFA Response Plan is in draft phase.
The Standard Operating Procedure for Preparedness, Detection and Response to a Coronavirus (2019-NCOV) outbreak in South Africa has been implemented within the HSFA.
HSFA would like to urge our families and visitors to refrain from contact with the older person should you suspect that there has been any contact or flu related symptoms.
Yours faithfully,
Alta Allen, Operations & Risk Manager


Love is in the air at the HSFA

Love is in the air at the HSFA

At the “HSFA has Talent” show last night one of our residents, Matty Swannepoel, kindly shared her own sweet love story – appropriate for Valentine’s Day today. She told how she sent this beautiful poem to her love and he replied with the one below it… True, deep, ensuring love.

The Rose: Read by Matty Swannepoel
Some say love, it is a river That drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor That leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger An endless, aching need
I say love, it is a flower And you, its only seed
It’s the heart afraid of breaking That never learns to dance
It’s the dream afraid of waking That never takes the chance
It’s the one who won’t be taken Who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying That never learns to live
And the night has been too lonely And the road has been too long
And you think that love is only For the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter Far beneath the bitter snow
Lies the seed that with the sun’s love In the spring, becomes a rose
Songwriters: Amanda Mcbroom
The Rose lyrics © Warner Chappell Music, Inc

Let me love you – by Brian van der Spuy
Please let me love you
Now that I found you
I have been looking everywhere
In the stars, in the moon
And in the rainbow above

You fill my life with laughter
You give me hope each day
Let me be your dreams of happiness
You are all I long for
Is there a tenderness like yours?
A love so true
I want to be your loved one!
From now to eternity
You’re one of a kind
Death cannot tear us apart
Because …. I love you so

Note the image is not of Matty and Brian, just a symbolic image.


Singing and its benefits to the elderly

Singing and its benefits to the elderly

Singing provides many benefits for the elderly. Our frail care residents frequently enjoy a ‘sing-a-long’ at our Support Centre or Mountview. Thank you to the many volunteers, like our pianist Rinet Kennedy, who share their passion for music and play their instruments to accompany our residents’ voices!
Ongoing research has shown that regular singing can increase immunity, lift spirits, and provide a physical workout for the brain and lungs. These benefits are significant for those experiencing mild to moderate dementia as it boosts healthy brain function as music activates many parts of the brain. Emotions released and the physical process of engaging in music appears to support access to memories. Lung expansion and breath control are a part of singing. It is interesting to note research of regular music therapy sessions shows an increase in breath control and possible improvement of the swallowing mechanism of those living with Parkinson’s. Singing also encourages posture/body alignment as singing forces the singer to sit up straight for maximum lung capacity. Singing together creates group bonds as singing helps develop and maintain skills of listening and adjusting to others. It is a wonderful antidote to depression!

Benefits of singing

Top staff service standards at HSFA

Top staff service standards at HSFA

The HSFA has a firm commitment to provide and train staff with exceptional service standards to ensure top care for all residents. We are proud to announce that our Clinical Nurse Natasha Hjelden recently achieved Cum Laude in her Palliative exam completed through the HPCA Hospice Palliative Care Assn.

Palliative care is an approach that improves the quality of life of patients and their families facing problems associated with life threatening illness by the means of early identification and ‘impeccable’ assessment and treatment of pain and other problems – physical, psychosocial and spiritual.

“People assume one has to go to hospice if you have cancer, chronic or terminal illnesses. However with Palliative care, the elderly person will have a better quality of life through early identification of the illness, the ‘impeccable’ symptom control, pain management and its holistic approach.” says Natasha.

What is Assisted Living?

What is Assisted Living?

Facing retirement options for oneself or one’s parents can be a daunting prospect.  However, several retirement living options are available that suit differing ages, needs or abilities of the elderly.  It is important to know that accommodation and services for the retiree are available that are tailored based on the levels of the physical, mental and social capability.


Should you be 60 plus and still enjoying independent-type living and far away from being frail but realise that you either i) crave company, or ii) need assistance with daily housecleaning and iii) need someone to help you to do cooking as you tend to leave pots burning on the stove in mindless moments; you may need to look into the concept of ‘assisted living’.


Assisted Living is defined as follows: You usually have your own private room and there is no medical equipment that you would find in a nursing home, and nursing staff are not based on site. However, trained staff are always available to provide other needed services. Housekeeping chores are done for you; laundry is done, and three meals a day are cooked and served as part of the rent and included services. Additional fees may be charges for other services like medication management, bathing assistance, dressing, activity chaperoning, or short term care by a registered nurse.  Amenities like a beauty parlor or exercise gym or a grocery service or kiosk may also be on site. There are usually common areas for socialising, as well as a central kitchen and dining room for meals.

The HSFA – the Helderberg Society for the Aged – is a Non-Profit Organisation, which has been caring for the elderly in the Helderberg region, since 1958.  They have four service options: frail care centres, assisted living units, a home-based care service and several independent living accommodation units.    The two Assisted Living units of the HSFA provide a tranquil, homely setting, with caring and committed staff in a beautiful, safe environment.  The residents at Robari Lodge and Silver Oaks Lodge enjoy the best of both worlds, by enjoying a secure retirement home keeping and their independence, while also enjoying the benefits of being in the company of other occupants where new friendships are built and enjoying all meals and not having to do housekeeping.

  • Many of the rooms are ensuite rooms, but Silver Oaks has several shared ablution rooms
  • Three balanced meals per day
  • Tea and/or coffee served four times per day
  • Weekly housekeeping & laundry services
  • DSTV in rooms (or in the lounges at Silver Oaks)
  • Emergency Call-4-Care system in each room
  • Pre-packed medication
  • Activities, outings and special events
  • Day/Night Helpers
  • 24 Hour security

What are also enjoyed by the residents is the Coffee Shop at Silver Oaks which is also open to the public, and a kiosk (a mini shop) at Robari lodge.  Silver Oaks also boasts a hair salon and nail bar accessible to the residents and community over the age of 60 who have Service Centre membership for an annual fee of R45.  Residents of the HSFA automatically have free membership of the Service Centre.

The HSFA currently has units available at Silver Oaks Lodge from as little as R5490 and at Robari Lodge from R9440 per month.  This is an incredible price considering this secure and comfortable accommodation includes 3 meals a day as well as all the above-mentioned benefits.

HSFA Robari Lodge






For more information on the Helderberg Society for the Aged, please visit their new website or Facebook page or email or .   Another option to find out more information is to attend their monthly information session every first Friday of the month at 10am at Vonke Park, 121 Lourensford Road, Somerset West.

Dealing with Dementia

Dealing with Dementia

Dementia is a general term used to describe a group of symptoms associated with a decline in cognitive functions. This can be caused by brain disease or injury and is marked by memory disorders, personality changes and impaired reasoning. There are different types of dementia, of which Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type.


• Memory loss
• Difficulty performing daily, familiar tasks
• Problems with language
• Disorientated in terms of time and place
• Decreased judgement
• Difficulty with abstract thinking
• Changes in mood, behaviour and personality
• Loss of initiative or interest


• Age: Dementia may occur at a younger age, but is more common over the age of 60. The risk to be diagnosed with dementia increases with age.
• Family history and genes: Having Alzheimer’s disease in your family does slightly increase your risk to develop the disease, but the majority of dementias are not inherited.
• Education: Studies show that dementia is less common in people with higher education


• History of stroke and vascular disease
• Alcohol abuse over a long period of time
• History of a head injury


Treatment of dementia depends on the cause. There is no cure for dementia, but there are ways to manage symptoms:
• Medication can temporarily improve symptoms
• Occupational Therapy can help to prevent accidents, manage behaviour and teach coping strategies
• Modifying the environment: Remove clutter, noise and safety hazards. This can help someone with dementia to cope and function optimally within their environment
• Modifying tasks: Break tasks into smaller and easier steps, provide structure and have a set routine to reduce confusion in the person with dementia