Gauteng Social Development to close struggling fragile care center

Abidas fragile care center was forced to close after Gauteng Social Development received allegations of mistreatment of retirees at the center and poor working conditions.

The department investigated the allegations and found that the beneficiaries were physically abused, lived in harsh conditions, and staff lacked the qualifications and skills to care for them.

Abidas Frail Care Center welcomes frail, semi-frail and independent elderly people.

The establishment claims to be registered as an NPO and has been operating for over 10 years.

However, the department of Gauteng has no record of its existence.

The establishment does not have certificates of compliance in terms of occupational health and safety, namely a health permit, a certificate of food acceptability.

The department also mentioned that Abidas was not a well-functioning center as it did not have an approved menu to meet the dietary needs of beneficiaries.

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According to the ministry’s investigations, the rights and safety of the elderly are not protected and have been compromised.

“It is established that the beneficiaries live in exceptionally unpleasant conditions. The facility is overcrowded with limited ventilation, including the kitchen.

“Other essential norms and standards required for the operation of such a facility are not met, such as an incident log, abuse log, complaints log, restraint log, admission log, a visitor log and a fainting log and there is no proper sanitation,” spokeswoman Feziwe Ndwayana said.

“What is troubling is that the carers are general workers with no training or qualification or training as carers, the manager also has no qualifications and is not trained and there is no description clear position for any member of staff.”

Earlier this month a pensioner was abused by staff. It was alleged that the frail pensioner was starved for days, burned, beaten and neglected.

She was also inhumanely deprived of her medication for at least 18 months

The department of Gauteng has requested the immediate closure of the recommended residential care facility, and retirees will be transferred to registered alternative facilities.

Compiled by Lethabo Malatsi. Additional information by Marizka Coetzer

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Joel C. Hicks