News / South Africa

Virginia Keppler
2 minute read
2 Feb 2018
7:39 am

Furore over man sleeping on floor at old-age home

Virginia Keppler

The picture was taken earlier this week at the Lodewyk Spies Home in Eersterust, in the east of Pretoria.

OUTCRY. The Lodewyk P Spies Home where a picture of a frail old man sleeping on the floor was posted on Facebook. Picture: Jacques Nelles

The Eersterust community is furious after pictures of a frail, elderly man sleeping on the floor and only wearing an adult nappy found its way onto social media.

The picture was taken earlier this week at the Lodewyk Spies Home in Eersterust, in the east of Pretoria.

Mary Clarkeson, the woman who posted the picture on her Facebook wall, said this is the kind of “abuse” taking place at the home.

The home came under fire from the community about three weeks ago when the electricity was cut for about three days.

Abraham Damons, the manager at the home, said the picture was “staged” and it was taken by an individual who was working the night shift at the home.

“What we know is that this person could not get off the bed himself and there is no way that we would allow our residents to sleepon the floor. “It is clear that he was picked up and put on the floor for the purpose of taking the picture.

“We have already started an investigation into this matter,” said Damons.

Apart from the picture, family members of residents complained that the elderly are being treated badly, they are not fed nutritious food, that management uses the home’s minibus for their private purposes and that they take the spending money of the elderly.

But Damons denied this. Showing his books and records, with slips of money drawn on behalf of the elderly, he indicated that he does not draw the money of those who are not able to help themselves.

“The problem is that some family members have asked us for the spending money, but we cannot give it to them because it is against the rules,” Damons said.

He also said the minibus is in for repairs and is at a dealership in Silverton. He said these accusations are devastating to the home’s reputation, especially when they have to raise funds.

“The community must know that government only gives us a subsidy and we have to come up with the rest of the money. If we cannot raise funds, this home will not be able to stay open,” he said.

Mirriam Moagi from the depart of social development visited the home for a second time yesterday and said they found no wrongdoing on the part of the staff and management.

“We are now in the process of tracing the number of the phone that sent the picture to someone who posted it on social media. The fact that picture was taken is abuse,” she said.

Old age is not what it used to be

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