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Pretoria’s Jaffa remembers those lost to COVID-19



Jaffa, Pretoria’s home for the elderly, honoured 29 residents who died over the past two years from COVID-19 on Sunday, 31 July. The ceremony was held prior to the organisation’s 38th annual general meeting.

The majority of those who passed away were unable to say goodbye to their family members, have a proper funeral, or be properly mourned by family and friends.

Outgoing Jaffa President Carol Baron described the strain on management, staff, and the committee as well as the heartache, anger, and fear of all as they treaded the unknown waters brought by COVID-19.

Photographs of all those lost during this time were projected onto a screen prior to the ceremony, reminding everyone of the beautiful neshomas who had passed on.

As Jaffa enters its fourth decade of existence, the home is facing many challenges, as with all homes around the country.

While the ageing building requires ongoing and much needed maintenance, so too do the residents, whose average age today is 89 years in contrast to 75 in 1988. Many residents are close to 100, and still enjoy life in the beautiful home. It means additional and increased levels of care are required with more nursing staff.

With many residents unable to meet their financial commitments to the home, Jaffa is now no longer able to continue subsidising residents and requires financial assistance from family members and donors. “The urgent need for fundraising is the responsibility of everyone,” said Baron in her president’s report.

A generous donation was received from ex-Pretorians Colin and Monica Silberman, now living in Australia, which enabled the frail-care section to be refurbished with new curtains, hospital beds, paint, and linen, resulting in increased levels of comfort.

Outgoing Director Mark Isaacs was recognised for the nine years he devoted to Jaffa and its residents, and incoming Director Bryan Dorfan was warmly welcomed.

“Jaffa moves forward confidently in the belief that the community of Pretoria and ex-Pretorians worldwide will rally to assist in the maintenance of this remarkable institution, enabling Jaffa to continue to provide high standards of care for our precious aged residents” said Baron.

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