Resources for finding disability care in Cape Town
04 Sep 2023
In this article, we offer information and useful resources for finding disability care in Cape Town.
It takes time and perseverance to find suitable care. We hope this compilation of resources serves as a useful starting point, or a supplement to other online resources.
Below we cover:
- deciding between home-based and residential care;
- resources for finding home-based disability care in Cape Town;
- resources for finding residential disability care in Cape Town;
- introductory advice on managing caregiver stress; and
- links to South African organisations for people with disabilities.
Home-based versus residential disability care
The first decision you must make is whether to choose home-based care or a residential facility. Both choices have their pros and cons.
Home-based care pros and cons
A home-based caregiver can live in or come as needed, either daily or a few shifts a week.
- The disabled person stays in a familiar environment.
- It may be cheaper than residential care.
- An agency can recommend suitably qualified carers for the situation.
- Finding the right carers can involve lengthy interviews.
- Multiple carers will likely be required if 24-hour care is necessary.
- You’ll need to arrange replacements whenever existing carers are ill or go on holiday.
- You might need to make structural changes to the home.
Residential care pros and cons
Residential care involves a disabled person living permanently in a care facility that’s specifically designed to cater for people living with disabilities.
- They offer 24-hour highly specialised care.
- The facilities are built to cater for people with disabilities.
- Residential facilities often have specialised medical and physio equipment.
- It can be upsetting for a disabled person to live in an unfamiliar environment.
- A good residential care facility can be very expensive.
- The best care facilities often have very long waiting lists.
Resources for finding home-based disability care in Cape Town
There are a few Cape Town-based agencies that offer specialised home care for people with disabilities.
- Cape Care offers “holistic” carers (not nurses), who enable people to stay living in their homes on a full or part-time basis. A carer can be hired for between three and 24 hours a day.
- Care Champ offers expert support and home care for adults and children with disabilities, including people with paraplegia and quadriplegia.
- HFN Nursing Agency provides fully-trained, experienced carers, enrolled nursing assistants and enrolled nurses.
- Robin Trust offers sub-acute/step-down care after hospitalisation, home care and frail care.
You can also search Google and Gumtree for home-based caregivers. An advert placed on a local noticeboard, especially in a medical environment like a hospital or clinic, can be helpful.
What to consider with home-based care
If you decide on home-based care, you’ll have a few decisions to make. The most important is how often the carer will be needed. Will they be full time or only needed a few hours a day?
You must consider the living arrangements for a full-time carer.
Will you provide meals? Does the carer need a car for transporting the person with a disability or will one be provided? How will you handle transport issues, public holidays and annual leave?
Interviewing potential home carers is a long process. Ask questions tailored to your situation. Has the candidate had experience with the specific disability?
Along with finding out about skills and qualifications, these questions can help you learn more about a candidate:
- why did you become a home carer?
- what attracted you to this role?
- what experience do you have?
- how would you help a disabled person maintain his or her dignity?
- can you describe a stressful or emergency situation and how you handled it?
- are you aware of local legislation related to disabled people and their rights?
- what was it like caring for the last person you worked for?
- what did you do and how did you find it?
Resources for finding residential disability care in Cape Town
Much like finding home-based carers, Google can be useful when sourcing residential care facilities. You’re able to view ratings and see feedback from other clients.
There are also specialised resources to use if you’re not sure where to start. The Western Cape Government has a comprehensive list of residential facilities for people with disabilities.
What to look for in a residential disability care facility
When choosing a residential disability care facility, ensure it’s not too far from your home. Check that it’s close to any necessary hospitals or clinics. Ask if the facility has transport options for doctor’s appointments.
Some facilities have onsite medical facilities and doctors. When you visit the facility, ask if the staff have experience dealing with the disability in question. Ask what staff they have, how many nurses and their qualifications.
Get a general feel for the facility. Make sure it’s clean, organised and the residents look comfortable and relaxed. Find out what the visiting arrangements are. Can family visit any time or are there special hours?
Managing caregiver stress
Being a caregiver or managing the care of a disabled person can be emotionally and financially taxing.
Even if you’re caring for someone you love, don’t underestimate how stressful it can be. Learn to recognise the signs of stress and burnout. You must get the support you need.
It’s vital that caregivers, especially home-based carers who have a smaller support system, get the support they need to avoid burnout.
Support groups and disability organisations can be useful for anyone caring for a disabled person.
Useful South African organisations for people with disabilities
These South African organisations help people with disabilities find support and resources.
- The Quad Para Association Western Cape aims to improve the lives of and fight for the rights of quadriplegics and paraplegics in the Western Cape.
- The Western Cape Association for Persons with Disabilities offers care and a range of support services.
- Disability info South Africa provides easy access to information and support for people living with disabilities.
We hope that these resources for finding disability care in Cape Town prove useful, and wish affected readers well in finding the support they need.
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