If you are a South African citizen who is older than 60, in need of 24-hour care and preferably a recipient of an old age grant or pension, you can apply to live in an older persons’ residential facility.
To apply, you need to visit the care centre you would like to stay at so that an application form can be completed.
The Social Development office nearest your home can tell you which care facilities are close to your home.
According to the Department of Social Development (DSD), no one can admit you to a residential facility without your consent, unless a medical report proves that you are mentally unfit to give consent and a court order is issued.
“However, in emergency cases, you may be admitted on the recommendation of a medical doctor, pending the issuing of a court order. In some cases, an older person may not be frail, but destitute, and admission may be temporary, pending investigation,” the department says.
The costs to stay at older persons’ homes vary, says the DSD.
How to apply
Admission to an older persons’ residential facility is subject to the availability of beds, the department says.
Once a residential facility has been identified, you will be required to complete and return application forms to the residential facility. When you return the forms, you will also need to take along your South African identity document and a medical report stating that you need 24-hour care.
You will also undergo a screening test to see if you qualify for admission and a payment subsidy.
“If you are too old or sick to travel to the office to apply, ask a family member or friend to apply on your behalf. A social worker will arrange a home visit to assess your current living conditions,” the department says.
Your application will be processed within 14 days and you will get a response within 30 days. If your application is declined, you must be given a reason in writing and you can appeal to the Minister of Social Development.
Family and friends are urged to visit their loved ones in older persons’ homes so that they do not feel lonely or abandoned. However, an older person may also say if they do not want particular people to visit them.
For more information, visit your local DSD office or call customer care services at 012 312 7727.