Gauteng Social Development to close struggling care center

Abidas Frail Care Center is forced to close after Gauteng Social Development received allegations of mistreatment of pensioners at the center and poor working conditions.

The department investigated the allegations and found that the beneficiaries were physically abused and living in harsh conditions; and that staff lack qualifications and skills.

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 any occupational health and safety (OHS) compliance certificates: Health Permit, Food Acceptability Certificate.

The department also mentioned that the care center is not a properly functioning center as it does not have an approved menu to meet the dietary needs of the beneficiaries.

According to the ministry’s investigations, the rights and safety of the elderly are not protected; the safety and care of the centre’s retirees are compromised.

“It is established that the beneficiaries live in exceptionally unpleasant conditions. The facility is overcrowded with limited ventilation, and that includes 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,” social development wrote.

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

Earlier this month, a retirement suffered at the hands of the 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 Gauteng Ministry has called for the immediate closure of the recommended residential care facility; and retirees will be moved to other approved institutions.

Compiled by Lethabo Malatsi. Additional information by Marizka Coetzer

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Joel C. Hicks