Taking care of both my husband’s frail elderly parents and my dear Father with Alzheimer’s was the trigger to establish a safe haven for frail elderly persons. A home, away from home, where it would not be necessary to sedate a resident, but allow each one of them to live as normal a life as possible. The shocking reality of the loneliness that these angels live with, because their children are just too busy to spend time with them, made the desire to have a loving home for these lonely people even bigger.
The testimonial or evidence of our intentions and passion can be seen in our happy and content residents and also in our staff. The gratitude that persons with Alzheimers/Dementia show all day, every day is very rewarding. All the Midway staff are happily employed! The relationships that develop/grow between the residents and staff, as well as our clients (the families of our residents), is very important for personalized care to take place.
Midway is registered with the Department of Social Development and Health because the facility was built in terms of the Older Person’s Act 13 of 2006.
My husband and I were determined to start this assignment correctly.
“Goed begin, is half gewin”, is an Afrikaans expression.
Sr Ansovi Schoeman, the Matron at Midway since September 2013, is a Theatre and Trauma trained Professional Nurse. Sr Ansovi understood Sharon’s vision of providing a safe environment for Alzheimer/Dementia elderly persons without mind-altering medication, after Sharon had seen what damage mind-altering and pain medication does to elderly persons.
Sr Ansovi started doing research on alternative methods of nursing Alzheimer/Dementia residents and conducted studies (with the support of our house doctor) on several residents to test Sharon’s ideas about a healthy diet, lots of water and exercise and no mind-altering medication.
Various blood tests were conducted to determine what vitamins, minerals and amino acids were lacking in our residents – the problems that Sr Ansovi and the house doctor identified were communal and have been addressed with natural sources and have had a positive effect on the overall wellbeing of our residents.
Midway has busy residents that are happy, who never feel fenced in. The residents love to feel the grass under their feet and enjoy chatting to the chickens, cattle, calves and dogs. The rabbits that we have elude the residents and can only be seen from a distance in the early evening, while they are grazing.
Neels van Rensburg, Sharon’s husband is responsible for safety, security, maintenance and the garden, which is managed meticulously. Neels built the beautiful facility, which he refers to as “Abie’s House”. Sharon’s Father, Abie sometimes tells visitors: “this is my house”.