Eastern Cape


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Dr Heather Rauch

Eastern Cape Manager

Dr Heather Rauch 

Heather has been doing sessional work for Alzheimer’s SA since 2007 and was appointed as Regional Manager for ASA Eastern Cape Region in 2014. Heather obtained her BA (SW) 1987; MA (Clinical) SW 1991 and the DPhil (SW) 2000; all at the then University of Port Elizabeth. She seasoned as the founder social worker of the Child Abuse Unit at Childline (1989) until she entered into private practice in 1995.

In her private practice she is focusing mainly on psycho-social matters relating to families. She also assisted with training and supervision of staff at FAMSA; act as mediator for the Children’s and High Court; Research and practice supervisor for the 4th year social work students at NMU; she is the chairperson of SAASWIPP and the vice-chairperson of the National Executive.

The establishment of the Multi-professional Assessment and Diagnostic Clinic run by 14 professional volunteers is a dream came true. The generosity of the team has allowed for a coordinated assessment and supportive approach that has become our flagship project. Heather has a passion for the persons living with dementia and related conditions; to train, equip and support the caregivers and families caring for them and to create community awareness programmes.

General Inquiries

Alzheimer’s Eastern Cape office is located at:

86 Park Drive, Central, Port Elizabeth

Office Hours: Monday to Friday (09:00 – 13:00)


Counselling and Information Service
The social worker of Alzheimer’s  Eastern Cape Region offers psycho-social support and counselling to persons living with dementia and their families. We also have resource lists available of Long Term Care Homes, NPO’s and Home Based Care Agencies in the Eastern Cape.

Support groups for the carers of people suffering from dementia
Support groups provide a safe environment for spouses, partners and caregivers to learn from and support each other.  We have 8 support groups across the province these groups are run on a monthly basis. For further details please see our list of support groups and the contact details. We have 5 support groups and 7 volunteers. 

Dementia training courses
We facilitate information sessions and one day ‘Caring for the person with Dementia’ training courses in English and Afrikaans. We are offering Zoom information sessions to create awareness, to provide skills and support; and Zoom training to families, partners, spouses of persons living with dementia and to up-skill caregivers. Courses can also be presented in a modular way to meet the need of the group or organisation who requiring the training.

Community project
Alzheimer’s Eastern Cape Region partners with Age-in-Action to facilitate the Motherwell Dementia Caregiver Capacity Building Project. The caregivers will be up skilled and trained to care for persons with dementia and related conditions and will be an asset to Home based Care Agencies, Long Term Care Homes and private caregivers with families. They will also create awareness of dementia in their communities to combat the stigma and misconception of dementia and related conditions.

Multi-Professional Diagnostic & Assessment Clinic
The Multi-Professional Diagnostic and Assessment Clinic run twice a month on the last Tuesday and Wednesday. The clinic is run by multi-professional teams. The teams provide diagnostic, assessment and supportive services. The teams, with the participation of the person and family, determine what care plan will be in the best interest of the person. Follow-up sessions are scheduled at six-month intervals to evaluate the progress and the impact of dementia on the person and their changing needs. The social worker offers on-going support to the person with dementia and their family; and liaises with the multi-professional team.

World Alzheimer’s Day
Alzheimer’s Eastern Cape Region organise special events during September to highlight World Alzheimer’s Day which is celebrated each year on 21st September. The events take place in Port Elizabeth and surroundings.

For information on any of the above mentioned services or any enquiry please contact our office on 041 581 5300 or send an email to easterncape@alzheimers.org.za.


Dear Colleagues , Caregivers, Families, Support Groups

The Covid pandemic has challenged us in ways that we could not have anticipated. It is two years later, and we are still trying to adapt to the new normal. However, this led to the birth of online training which is more accessible, affordable and time wise.

Alzheimer’s South Africa has revised our training material to make it more relevant and in line with the post-Covid challenges facing by the families, caregivers, and professionals in caring for the person/persons living with dementia.

Alzheimer’s Eastern Cape Region would like you to provide us with specific training/information needs to create an online training schedule that will meet your expectations.

We will schedule the training/information sessions on the feedback we received to commence from July 2022.

Please complete the questionnaire  before 20 June 2022.

Become a Volunteer

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer, contact Dr Heather Rauch.

  • We need volunteers with a passion for persons living with dementia and their families.
  • We need professionals in the mental health, nursing, occupational therapy, speech therapy and social work field who can get involved in our regional advisory committee; assist with training; and establishing and running of support groups.
  • We need professionals with expertise in law and finances to get involved in our regional advisory committee.
  • We need passionate community members who can assist with awareness raising and advocacy, marketing and fundraising, and door to door campaigns in communities.

Banking Details for Eastern Cape Region

Banking Details for Donations:

  • Alzheimer’s Eastern Cape
  • Standard Bank, Port Elizabeth
  • Account number 080799280
  • Branch number 050-017
  • Reference Your Company name

Social Media

Follow Alzheimer’s SA Eastern Cape region on Facebook.

Our EC Admin Support Team

Debbie Mattheus


Talent Mabasa

Santa van Rooyen

Database/Resource List/Facebook/Project facilitator – Motherwell Caregiver Capacity Building Project)Office Assistant

Our EC Training Team

Nika Oberholster

Occupational Therapist

Talent Mabasa

Jane Hebert

Speech Therapist

Linda Swartz

Professional Nurse

Santa van Rooyen

Social Worker

Our Professional Team:

Diagnostic and Assessment Clinic

Dr Leandre Gauche – Psychiatrist

Dr Wim Esterhuizen – Psychiatrist

Dr Kavendren Odayar – Psychiatrist

Dr Margo de Kooker – GP

Dr Ruth Stewart – Clinical Psychologist

Mr Mark Eaton – Clinical Psychologist

Mr Flip de Jager – Clinical Psychologist

Mrs Ilonka Wessels – Clinical Psychologist

Mrs Kaye Henrick – Social Worker

Mrs Jane Herbert – Speech Therapist

Sister Linda Swartz – Professional Nurse

Sister Denise Greyer – Professional Nurse

Sister Dorothy Shelver – Professional Nurse

Ms Nika Oberholster – Occupational Therapist

August 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter August 2022

EC’S Newsletter

Our latest newsletter will give you information about World Alzheimer’s Month 2022. Read a mesage from 
the Eastern Cape Regional Manager.
Read an informative article on Diagnosis.

June 2022 Newsletter

Newsletter June 2022

EC’S Newsletter

Our latest newsletter will give you a mid-year message from our regional manager. You will also find an updated Training Manual for ASA, information related to Support Groups and other useful information related to Alzheimer’s.

October 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter October 2021

EC’S Newsletter

Our latest newsletter will give you an update on regional activities as well the highlights of World Alzheimer’s Day. Read an informative article, Dementia – A Family Illness with Far Reaching Impact, written by Dr Heather Rauch.

If you would like to be added to our database to receive our bi-annual newsletter and information regarding upcoming events and training, please subscribe below. 

February 2021 Newsletter

Newsletter February 2021

EC’S Newsletter

Read our latest newsletter for an update on activities at our Eastern Cape region and some helpful Covid-19 related tips.

If you would like to be added to our database to receive our bi-annual newsletter and information regarding upcoming events and training, please subscribe below. 

December 2020 Newsletter

Newsletter December 2020

EC’S Newsletter

As we come to the end of one of those years that will go down in world history, Alzheimer’s Eastern Cape Region would like to reach out to you once again as a resource to assist you and your loved ones as you struggle with Dementia. Despite the challenges of social distancing, we are delighted to have mastered the virtual platform and adapted our training and support services to meet many of the needs in our area of work. Whereas our clinic and support groups have had to be suspended for now, we are available for individual counselling both in person and online. 

If you would like to be added to our database to receive our bi-annual newsletter and information regarding upcoming events and training, please subscribe below. 

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