Mrs Africa visits elderly

Mrs Africa Continent Berenice Craddock visited Cosmos in Waverley Gardens to give chocolates and love to elderly patients who suffer from dementia.

The care centre is run by Flower Foundation Retirement Homes, a non-profit organisation that offers accommodation and care to retired persons over the age of 55. Craddock said one of her reasons for visiting the specialised dementia care centre was that she could relate to the condition.

“I had a friend who died [of dementia] at a very early age and my grandmother died of dementia,” she said.

Sue Cunningham, a nursing service manager at Cosmos, said every three seconds someone was diagnosed with dementia worldwide and it was starting to occur in people younger than 65. “What we create is a safe haven and environment where they are understood, and everybody here has been trained by Alzheimer’s SA,” she said.

Mrs Africa Continent shares a laugh with an elderly resident at Cosmos.

Laverne Hodson, a marketing manager at Flower Foundation Retirement Homes said, “I enjoy coming here. Although you can’t communicate with the residents a lot, it’s about giving them support and loving them,” she said.

Recognizing signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s and dementia:

Loss of memory (short-term memory and forgetting simple things)

  • Disorganised thinking and behaviour
  • Repetitive or inappropriate speech
  • Agitation in strange or different surroundings
  • Loss of control
  • Increased inability to care for oneself, one’s home or loved ones
  • Increased anxiety, confusion, loss of self, confidence and other behavioral changes
  • Getting lost, and not knowing the time, date or names of close friends and family
  • Inability to express thought and find correct or desired words.

Details: Flower Foundation Retirement Homes 011 781 4920.

Read: Mrs SA finalist raises funds for cancer

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