The Living Cornerstone was born from a vision in February 2008. It all started through another project - delivering meals to the needy old and frail people in our community. As a result of this we came across several underprivileged / lower income groups of people at various stages of Alzheimer. These people were living on their own and not coping too well. Their bodies were fed but not their minds? There was no stimulation. They were lonely and insecure. Because of the financial constraints of the families involved, the cost of getting a caregiver in to look after their loved one was beyond their means. Therefore they were often left on their own during the day. Some of these folk wandered off and got lost. Some were confined to a locked up house or even worse a locked room. Some even showed signs of sexual abuse. I have come across many sad cases in our little village alone and there are many more out there that we do not know about.
Alzheimer's is a debilitating disease for the sufferer as well as their family and caregiver. It is not easy to accept that your loved one will be there in body but not in mind. It is hard to think that someone you have known all your life will eventually not know who you are. The Living Cornerstone (TLC) is there to help one cope with the inevitable, to lighten the load and provide a secure environment where sufferers are cared for in a loving, homely atmosphere, a real home from home ambience.
Our homes are run on Godly principles. A strict daily routine for the residents is in place. This includes walks twice a day with a caregiver outside of the fenced property. This is to enable the residents to integrate with the community.
The Alzheimer's association asked TLC to take this lady into our care. During the day while the family were at work she was left with a neighbour who was an alcoholic. She was either locked up or left to roam the streets while her carer went to the shebeen. Her behaviour the 1st night she was with us was typical of sexual abuse. Even after being with us for 6 months she still became hysterical when she had to be undressed to have a bath or get ready for bed. Unfortunately/fortunately she does not remember what happened but does associates getting undressed with what the boys did to her.
Our residents range in age from 64 to 93. (The 66-year-old was 58 when he started with Alzheimer's.) We have a blind man in the advanced stage of Alzheimer's in our care as well. At one time there was a 21-year-old who had Dementia due to Alcohol abuse.
Currently, we have 3 houses in the village of Sedgefield. 2 are rented and the 3rd house is rent-free in lieu of the Landlord's relative who is a resident at TLC. Our first house was opened in May 2013. The 2nd house in December 2013 and the third house opened in May 2014.
We have a total of 25 residents in 24-hour care, and a waiting list that keeps growing. It is clear that there is an urgent need for Alzheimer care for people who cannot afford the high cost of private care. A 4th and 5th house is desperately needed.
If you require more in-depth information of what the future holds for TLC please contact Gilda Scammell 084 544 1203, email firstname.lastname@example.org
THE LIVING CORNERSTONE being a registered NPO 169-778 and PBO930038731 in terms of Section 18A of the Income Tax Act 1962 all donations and sponsorships are tax-deductible. A tax donation certificate will be issued on request.