Alzheimer’s Mpumalanga is going from strength to strength. Mpumalanga, the place of the rising sun, is a beautiful province of South Africa. It is culturally diverse and geographically large. This creates many challenges for the office based in Nelspruit however with modern technology and our wonderful staff and volunteers we support families and care centres caring for people with dementia from Witbank to Bushbuckridge.
Our auxiliary workers are raising awareness through weekly talks at the Mathibela Traditional council court, meeting the people where they are and when they come together. We also create awareness through campaigns, networking and collaborations at various centres and organisations in the rural communities.
We have two established satellite offices in Kamhlushwa and Oakley. A new satellite office in Mdanbuzweni near White River has been secured recently to enable our volunteers and staff to be accessible to the community. Our aim is to develop monthly support groups, carers training and family support in each of our satellite office as well as continuing the awareness and networking opportunities.
Training and Support
Within the next 6 months we will be looking to provide further regular support, training and awareness in Middleburg, Secunda and Witbank. Given the vast distances there are many opportunities to develop and network with existing organisations, businesses and volunteer groups who live in the local area. The challenges are to sustain these relationships. However, we believe this will enhance our ability to meet the needs of the people with dementia where they live and provide support to families, spouses and professionals caring for people living with dementia.
New Regional Manager
A new Regional Manager was appointed on the 1st of November 2017. Collette Wright is a qualified social worker and has had 16 years of experience working in the UK. One of the reasons, she and her family have returned to South Africa is that her father was diagnosed with early onset dementia, five years ago. The family decided to return and live in Mpumalanga to be able to be closer to her family.
Our Mpumalanga office has been providing services to our communities for over the 30 years. Part of the success is the effective and proactive way that our Council provides structure, stability and guidance to the organisation. The council members are hands on and regularly volunteer their time and expertise in the various capacities to ensure our organisation running well.
As we all aware the challenges we face in this country are vast and often overwhelming however we should never underestimate the value of knowledge, support and someone just to listen to the difficulties our families and carers have when caring for people with dementia. As Alzheimer’s Mpumalanga, our Council is committed to ensuring we continue to provide and develop a number of services to our communities from creating awareness, fundraising, recruiting volunteers to supporting those that care for people with dementia on a daily basis. Our aim therefore must be to empower our communities to be part of the solution and to work with us to reach every family in Mpumalanga affected by dementia.