Watching Thato Rammala, Nolitha Njokozela, Jacky Kamwanga and their colleagues taking care of their residents at the long-term care facility Prim Villa, located in the Johannesburg area of South Africa, is a humbling lesson in kindness, compassion and dedication to empowering movement even for the frailest residents.
“A great day for me is to see my residents happy,” Thato Rammala says. “We take them outside, walk them, sometimes when the weather is hot, we even bring them to the swimming pool.”
Prim Villa specialises in caring for those living with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia. Many of the residents are frail and not able to walk by themselves, which means that they require a lot of physical help from the caregiving team.
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“Movement is important, so we try to encourage those who are not walking to move.”
“The movement is very important for them, so we make them comfortable and try to encourage those who are not walking to move, from the chair to the wheelchair, helping them to get out,” says Jacky Kamwanga, another member of the caregiving team at Prim Villa.
“Empowering movement to me is when I can help people that can’t help themselves. I encourage those who can’t walk, telling them ‘you can do this’, as we help them to get up,” says caregiver Nolitha Njokozela.
Having access to the right equipment, such as standing aids, ceiling lifts, slings, bathtubs, shower trolleys and -chairs enables the caregivers to handle the residents in a gentle way that is also safe for themselves.
“Equipment like Sara Steady makes work easier for us. I can help a resident get up without exhausting my own back. I just position it by the bed and then the resident can pull himself or herself up,” Nolitha explains.
When getting the question about why she became a nurse, Jacky smiles and gives the same answer as when her mother asked the same thing years ago.
“It has always been my dream to care about people, helping them.”
“The answer was easy already then. I love to help people. When I feel that we have done that together working as a team, it has been a great day,” Jacky says.