Demolishing elderly isolation

“My employer developed Alzheimer’s and was moved to a care facility, leaving me in the house, now knowing what was to become of me.” This was an end that would soon see a new beginning for *Shahieda thanks to the assistance of our fieldworker, Tasneem Hoosain-Fielies.

After being a live-in domestic worker for many years, Shahieda’s future became very uncertain when she learnt that the new property owners planned on demolishing the home she was still living in. A pensioner, unable to even consider an alternative place or a SASSA grant without an ID, Shahieda is caregiver to her two grandchildren. Isolation and depression set in.

Tasneem’s tenacious spirit kept Shahieda going through these dark days and, with Tasneem’s assistance, Shahieda was able work her way through what seemed insurmountable challenges:

Negotiations between Tasneem and the new landlord resulted in paid accommodation for the next three months and sponsored accommodation after that.
Shahieda’s granddaughter was gifted the necessary to attend a small matric farewell event arranged by the students.
Shahieda now receives a regular food parcel and regularly checks in with Tasneem.
The next step is securing long-term sustainability for Shahieda through the application for her ID, which is challenging since she cannot remember her ID number. We are hopeful that her daughter’s unabridged birth certificate will contain the necessary information needed to assist with her ID application, which will then enable her to apply for a SASSA Pension.

Prior to all of this *Shahieda cleaned various guesthouses in the Woodstock area. This unfortunately came to a standstill due to the impact of COVID on the tourism industry. She currently works as a domestic once a week and is eager to find more domestic work in the City centre. We urge anyone who may be able to provide *Shahieda with employment as a domestic to contact, Tasneem, at tasneem@soupertroopers.org.

*not her real name

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