GERATEC turned 25 this year! And what a challenging year it has been for us all. We have lived through three waves of Covid-19 and as I am writing this, a fourth wave is looming. The end of 2020 saw our Christmas and New Year celebrations cancelled, and when the third Covid-19 wave came down long and hard on all of South Africa, we knew that 2021 was going to be another bumpy ride.

But for GERATEC, the year has not been all doom and gloom. To paraphrase Winston Churchill, “Never let a good crisis go to waste!” For us, it has been a year of growth and innovation, from moving to our beautiful new offices in Paardevlei, Somerset West, to ACVV Huis Bergsig and a number of new employees joining the GERATEC family and the appointment of a slew of new managers and Support Office employees.

The year would not have been all it turned out to be were it not for the following appointments:

  • Madi Nothnagel (Sales and Marketing Manager)
  • Bonnie Johnston (Housekeeping and Compliance Officer)
  • Gail George (Administrative Assistant)
  • Nadia Diedericks (Food Services Manager: Rusoord Tehuis)
  • Tharina van Heerden (Food Services Manager: ACVV Huis Bergsig)
  • Remi Jacobs (Food Services Manager: Paradyskloof Villas)
  • Linda van Zyl (Food Services Manager: Vonke Park)
  • Patricia Kuettel (Food Services Manager: Nerina Gardens)
  • Sylvia del Ponte (Food Services Manager: ACVV Huis Azaleahof)

 
Since the appointment of these exceptional individuals, each and every one of them has become an integral part of our business, making valuable contributions to their respective areas and the homes where they are working.

A number of longstanding employees have also been promoted during the course of the year: Jan Skippers is now our Food Services and Housekeeping Manager at Langverwag, Colette de Wet was promoted to Trainer: Food Quality and Operational Relief, and Gerswin Izaaks to Project Manager: Helderberg, making it possible for Ide-Marie Venter to once more take up her Dietetics role full-time.

These new appointments, promotions and movements have helped enhance the specialised services GERATEC has been delivering for 25 years. Each member of the GERATEC family, in both their existing and new positions, have played a vital role in our ability to deliver on our commitment to improving the quality of life of older persons by serving nutritious and delicious food of the highest standard.

We are also proud to have launched a number of new products in 2021. GERALEARN introduced a series of free training webinars aimed at supporting the older persons sector at a time when training and development were forced to take a backseat due to Covid-19 infection control measures, physical distancing, and repeated lockdowns. We truly hope that we will be able to resume our “in-person” training in 2022 at our new training facility in Paardevlei and look forward to engaging fully with our partners once more.

In GERACONSULT, we developed an exciting online management system for residential homes and facilities, GERATEC Solutions, which is currently being piloted at a number of homes in the Western Cape. The system allows home and residential facility managers the opportunity to benefit from the resident, food services and housekeeping management systems that have been developed by GERATEC over 25 years. Each online portal is tailor-made for the client’s specific needs and is supported by our experienced management team and GERATEC’s training resources. We hope to roll out phase 1 at the beginning of the new year and are working hard on developing phases 2 and 3, which we hope to test and roll out later in 2022.

In November, we launched GERATEC Support at Home, a pilot project in the Paarl, Wellington, and Swartland areas that aims to bring home-based support to older persons who live independently or outside traditional residential facilities. In line with international trends, more and more older persons choose to age in place. But as their needs change, quality and affordable support and services should be available to them in their own home. The Coronavirus pandemic has accelerated this trend, with older persons growing increasingly reluctant to take up residence in a retirement home for fear of being locked in when another wave of Covid-19 strikes.

We have partnered with our clients ACVV Huis Silwerkruin and Wamakers Training School to provide training for home-based care partners, whether they are family members, domestic workers or employed carers, bringing affordable support and services to individuals at home. In 2022, we are looking to expand this offering into other communities in the Western Cape.

But above all, 2021 has been about our employees, the GERATEC angels who continue to make us proud in the face of tremendous challenges and huge personal sacrifice. As we navigated the turbulent seas of the Coronavirus, they never forgot that they are providing their services in the homes of the older persons they support and that they were often one of only a few people our residents had regular contact with, especially during the hard lockdowns we have experienced. Across the board, our employees’ conduct in 2021 has been exemplary and their service of the highest standard. Without them, we would not be able to continue the work we do. For this, we salute and thank each and every one of our employees. You personify the GERATEC philosophy of relationship directed support and are the true quality of life partners of our residents. It is our honour to support you. I look forward to an exciting year ahead with you at my side.

VICTOR SOUTHWELL
Leader: Business and Growth

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)