Nazareth House Cape Town opened its doors in 1882 when a small group of Sisters arrived from London on the
request of the then Bishop of Cape Town. Poverty-stricken communities often abandon or neglect children with special needs and the frail elderly who are dependent on the goodwill of others. Over the past three years, Nazareth House continued to make a major impact on the local communities of the Western Cape by taking care of those most left ignored or abused. Being ostracized by the community because of poverty, age and disability is not a rare occurrence. Our comprehensive approach ensures that we address all levels of Children’s and Elderly development and health, albeit on an intellectual, emotional and/ or physical level. Our interventions are both programmatic and systematic in nature as it allows children to live healthy and contributing lives, regardless of their circumstances.
Nazareth House is committed to providing love, nurturing, care and protection for orphans and other
vulnerable children. We do this by rendering comprehensive, holistic services to address their physical,
psychological, medical, educational, nutritional and social needs as effectively as possible. Nazareth House is
registered to accommodate 40 profoundly disabled children from birth to 18 years. Many families disown or abuse their
children because their disability is a burden on them or their medical status may be exposed and the family
ridiculed because of it. All our young beneficiaries come from previously disadvantaged and impoverished communities.
Nazareth House provides long-term residential care to children ranging from ages 5 years to 18 years who
have very special needs and absolutely no other source of care and support. These severely physically and
mentally challenged girls, all with variety of disabilities such as Cerebral Palsy, Down’ s syndrome and Foetal
Alcohol Syndrome, live in a purpose-built, cottage on the grounds of Nazareth House in Vredehoek, Cape
Town. Given their very special needs and challenges, they will most likely remain permanently in our care.
The Department of Social Development approached Nazareth House with the request to provide terminal care to children, where no further medical intervention was possible. Normally these children would lie in a hospital ward or institution and pass away within a cold, clinical environment, as their families have either abandoned them, or can no longer care for them.
These children have very particular medical needs, which home-based care cannot alleviate. Our Special Care Unit offers around-the-clock palliative and terminal care to medically vulnerable children living with life-threatening conditions. It is almost impossible for a child communicate that he is in pain when he has Spastic Cerebral Palsy with Microphaly and Epilepsy. He has no expressive language apart from crying. Some would assume that he is just naughty and irritable and may neglect him even further. This was the situation of one of the boys in our care who has been suffering for over 9 months with severe bedsores, laying alone in a hospital, unable to contract or flex his knees, elbows and wrists, he could do nothing more than cry nonstop and excessively. We identified his crying as a plea for love and comfort when he was admitted into our care. It did not take long for our dedicated staff to pinpoint all the problems and offer immediate relief. His chronic sores would soon be healed and with the intervention of occupational therapy his positioning was changed so that his sores would not reoccur, and he would be in less pain and experience more comfort.
Dedicated massage treatment to assist with the contraction of his joints, has allowed the smile to reappear on this precious child’ s face again, and if a tear is seen on his cheek, it is one of happiness. The dedicated staff members are not only focused on the wellbeing of the child, but in some cases we are lucky enough to work with the parents so that the child may be reunited with them. Encouraging this little boy's mother to spend as much time as possible with him and learn how to care for him properly, has resulted in him returning home to his family, weighing 2kg heavier and in improved health than when he was admitted.
All the children will still be placed under the children’ s act as this unit is just an extension of our existing work and not an additional program.
Care For The Aged Programme
Compared to childcare, caring for the elderly is not a priority for most donors. However, similarly to orphans the elderly
are often also abused and abandoned or have no financial resources. This programme provides full-time care to 74 frail
elderly in our residences in Vredehoek and Elsies River. The elderly in our care are without family support and, without
exception, suffer from age related conditions such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia, Parkinson’s and diabetes. They require
full-time nursing support. Security, dignity, comfort and peace in the twilight years of life For a frail elderly person without family or finances, life can be a terrifying ordeal. With Government subsidised homes for the aged stretched to the limit, care of these vulnerable elderly people falls onto the shoulders of organisations such as ours.
Our services include:
On-going health monitoring and personal hygiene assistance
Medical and nursing care
Frail care facilities for those who require more specialised care and attention
Comprehensive support services such as physiotherapy and chiropody
Preparation and provision of nutritious meals
Individualised psychological support and counseling according to each residents needs
Wish List for our Charity Shop:
- Baby clothes and accessories
- Men’s and ladies clothes and shoes
- Kids and teenagers clothing
- Furniture, crockery etc
- Books, puzzles etc
One man’s rubbish is another man’s treasure!
If you are cleaning out, think of us. Everything from second hand clothing, furniture, kitchenware to bric-a-brac is gratefully accepted at our charity shop – where it is sorted, priced and turned into cash to help fund our homes for the aged.
If you have any unwanted items you’d like to donate, please contact us on +27 (0)21 461-1635, or call in at Nazareth House.
Open Tuesday-Friday from 10:00am-12:00pm and open on the first Saturday of the month 9.30am to 12.00pm.
[times may vary according to season]
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