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The social services department renders services to the applicants on the waiting list and the residents in the retirement villages and the frail care home.

The applicants visit the Foundation’s offices by appointment where they are interviewed by the head of social services. During the interview the counseling focuses on the different available options and establishing which option will be most suitable for the applicant. Some applicants experience social problems in the form of unsuitable living conditions, poor family relationships, breakdown in marriage, health problems etc. The problems are treated as confidential and are handled with empathy. The applicants are encouraged to contact the Foundation should their circumstances change or if they require assistance from the social worker.

The residents who live in the retirement villages often experience social problems as a result of the debilitating nature of the ageing process. Coming to terms with losing one’s independence can be traumatic. Services are geared towards enabling the resident to stay in their own homes for as long as possible. It also involves realistic decision making to ensure that the resident experiences the best quality of life. The residents are encouraged to remain as active as possible for as long as they can. The social worker oversees the entertainment committees in all the villages to ensure that the needs of the residents in terms of recreation and socializing are being met.

The residents in the frail care home often require counseling and support to enable them to come to terms with their frailty and as a result the feelings of loss which they experience. Many families also need counseling to enable them to come to terms with their parent’s failing health. The social worker plays an important role in this regard and forms part of the multidisciplinary team in the home.