Extra staff to enhance services at Rand Aid

Sue Prior, Rand Aid’s newly-appointed community care co-ordinator.

Rand Aid Association believes that retirement is the start of an exciting new chapter, rather than the beginning of the end.

The 114-year-old NPO recently created a new post for a community care co-coordinator to ensure that a dedicated person is on hand to identify any issues that may affect the quality of life and general well-being of residents in its retirement villages.

Filling the post is Sue Prior, who has extensive experience in the field of ageing. She joined Rand Aid at the start of August 2017.

Sue said that her career systematically took her in the direction of caring for the elderly.

“After qualifying as a social worker at the University of Natal, I returned to Zimbabwe to work for the department of social services,” said Sue.

She said social workers in Zimbabwe do not specialise in a specific area but were exposed to all aspects of the psycho-social condition.

“Some of my exceptional colleagues there became involved with the Hospice in Harare and I followed and spent five years training and working in the bereavement and palliative care space,” she said.

She became involved with HIV and Aids counselling and trauma debriefing.

“A move to South Africa, a Psychology Honours degree, and registration with the South African Council for Social Service Practitioners, led me to the world of older persons. it was a natural transition and after several years of management within an organisational environment, I began working in private practice,” said Sue.

Although she has been exposed to Rand Aid through her clients, she was not aware of the scope of the NPO, which manages four retirement villages, two frail care centres, a treatment centre for people with substance abuse problems and a home for the deaf.

Subsidised accommodation, care and treatment are provided to over 500 people on a daily basis at its Thembalami Care Centre, Tarentaal Village and Wedge Gardens Treatment Centre.

Support services include Cookchill, the catering arm that prepares 35 500 meals a month, the stores, central workshops and the laundry.

Zabeth Zühlsdorff, Rand Aid’s general manager of services and advance division, said Sue will work closely with the village staff to assess clients’ needs. She will also develop and implement care and growth plans.

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Buli Sonqishe

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