Serving vulnerable older people by addressing their housing, health and social needs.
In the 2009/2010 South African Survey, the Institute for Futures Research indicated thatthe population size for the age group 65 years or older is projected to increase by 117.5% between 2010 and 2040. Furthermore, the Western Cape had the highest life expectancy with an estimated 8.6% of the population being 60 years and older.
The Older Persons Act states that it is the responsibility of government to ensure that senior citizens are in environments that maintain/improve their physical, social and psychological wellbeing. At present most of government’s focus in on the elderly who are either dependent on others or need assisted living. There is therefore a need to provide fit elderly persons with the space and facilities that will create the environment spelled out by the Older Persons Act.
NOAH works to provide services and homes to older people throughout the Western Cape. The organisation seeks to provide an integrated package of care particularly to disadvantaged older people. Three components make up this package:
- Safe and affordable accommodation in the community
- Primary health care, health monitoring and advice, and wellness support
- Service centres offering activities and support for the older person
In addition, NOAH advocacy work includes the promotion and replication of its model, collaborating with sector partners and the formation of partnerships with government.
The organisation works primarily with fit and independent older people whose monthly income is limited to a state pension grant. Through their programmes and activities, NOAH assists their beneficiaries in feeling secure, retaining their independence and remaining healthy, active and in control of their lives for as long as possible.
NOAH’s vision breaks down into three pillars: Home, Health and Happiness
- Home: NOAH runs 13 independent living homes for fit social pensioners in the Cape Town area. Residents pay R 110 per for rent and municipality services. NOAH works to ensure that residents do not pay more than a third of their income towards accommodation costs. The organisation also runs an assisted living facility which is supported by home-based carers, cook, cleaners and a registered nurse who oversees the day-to-day running.
- Health: Understanding the pressure borne by the public health system, NOAH clinics provide essential primary health care services to residents and older people in the community. The weekly clinics are run by general practitioners together with NOAH’s Health Manager and a registered nurse. The members’ health needs are addressed proactively with a minimum 30-minute consult. They are spared long waits at the public health facilities; receive much needed health information and awareness, and can access medical treatment and medication when they need it.
- Happiness: The NOAH Service Centre is a hub that services both NOAH residents and older people in the community. This takes the form of income generating projects, social activities and fitness and health services.
NOAH has established a soap recycling project where members of NOAH social clubs have an opportunity to generate an income. This is also a chance for members to socialise while turning donated luxury soaps into eco-friendly soap. This additional income allows club members to supplement their state pensions.
NOAH works with Age in Action and is a member of the Sector Task Team for Older Persons (STTOP) which works to raise the profile and needs of the older person in public and government fora.
What we like about this organisation
- NOAH’s model supports old age people in a holistic manner that goes beyond housing, but also caters to their wellbeing and health needs. The organisation has identified a niche housing need for fit older persons that supports their independence and provides them with the space to live fulfilling lives.
What difference can your money make?
- R10 000 will cover the cost for five clinic members per annum at the Woodstock Clinic. This ensures that five social pensioners living in the greater Woodstock area, and the NOAH independent houses, receive high quality health services including doctor’s appointments, medication and advice when required
- R250 000 will contribute towards a Toyota Avanza for Khayelitsha beneficiaries. This will provide them with transport to the Day Hospitals as well as provide accessible transportation for grocery shopping for Centre meals, delivery of NOAH Soaps, and general collections.
- R750 000 will cover the cost of extending the Woodstock Centre & Clinic. This will ensure greater capacity for the provision of services to social pensioners in the greater Woodstock area
- Volunteers can assist NOAH in the following ways:
- Woodstock: assist with craft and gaming groups in the week during office hours for residents and club members
- Khayelitsha: run craft, games and exercise groups during the week and on weekends
- Fundraising groups: host a tea party with friends, host an event and raise funds for a specific project of NOAH’s