Amberfield Care Centre offers 46 beds made up of both single and double rooms. It is staffed with highly qualified people and, although it is not a hospital, it can cater for the basic long term medical needs of our residents. One can also make use of trained caregivers supplied by various organizations for overnight or daily care of dependent people in their own homes.
Should a resident have a more serious medical condition there is a private hospital 2 kms from Amberfield. This facility is fully equipped, including an x-ray section and an operating theatre. The hospital complex includes local doctors/specialists and is also serviced by visiting specialists from Pietermaritzburg.
Many dentists, physiotherapists, chiropractors and other medical related professionals are also based in Howick.
The Amberfield Care Centre is registered with the Department of Social Welfare and Population Development. The Certificate is for a Home for the Aged. (Cert. No. 10/2/3/1/26) to accommodate 40 permanent Residents.
The Amberfield Care Centre is managed and operates in full compliance of the statutory requirements detailed in the Older Persons Act 2006 (Act 13 of 2006).
Even after making the difficult decision to move a loved one to a Care Centre, one still has to make yet another major decision in choosing the right care centre for them.
For most families cost is a very important factor but other considerations include comfortable accommodation, care levels, safety and security.
Howick is situated about 27 km north of Pietermaritzburg. It is approximately 5 hours driving time from Johannesburg and 70 minutes from Durban.
There is a modern fully equipped private hospital less than 2 kms from Amberfield and a new private hospital at Hilton which is about 10 kms away. The town enjoys the services of many general practitioners and specialists in all medical disciplines. We also have several dental practices and 3 pharmacies. Churches of all denominations are well established and weekly church services are held in Amberfield.
Howick has two hotels and, being on the well known Midland Meander route, there is accommodation for visitors available at the many B & B establishments in this area. We have a full complement of banks, supermarkets and many other stores.
Directions from Johannesburg:
Coming from Johannesburg along the N3 you take the Howick North / Tweedie off ramp. Turn left off the off ramp and follow the main road to Howick. After you pass through two robots you will come to a large field on your right. At this field you turn left into Gush Avenue. Take the second road right into Mare Street and turn left into Amberfield Retirement Village.
Directions from Durban:
Coming from Durban along the N3 you take the Howick North / Tweedie off ramp. Turn right off the off ramp (over the bridge) and follow the main road to Howick. After you pass through two robots you will come to a large field on your right. At this field you turn left into Gush Avenue. Take the second road right into Mare Street and turn left into Amberfield Retirement Village.
Our Care Centre manager / matron and her staff are professionally qualified nursing sisters and staff nurses. They have many years of Geriatric Nursing experience and are known for the compassionate interest they show in caring for the residents.
The Nursing assistants/Carers are employed by a contractor and similarly have experience caring for the elderly. Their performance is regularly assessed and when necessary, they receive additional training.
The issuing of medication to residents is done by the sisters/staff nurses. Any concerns about a resident’s health is immediately conveyed to the responsible family member/s and if needed, to the General Practitioner/Specialist involved. We cannot, by law, give intravenous medication.
The preparation of meals is done in-house and the special dietary needs of residents is carefully monitored. All residents receive, breakfast, a three-course lunch, morning and afternoon teas plus a bedtime drink and snack.
We currently offer three levels of care to our residents: Low, Moderate & High. We also have various rooms available in our care centre, some of which include en-suite bathrooms. Rooms are single or shared.
Amberfield Care Centre is part of Amberfield Retirement Village which comprises 400 cottages. Cottage residents, many of whom may eventually move into the Care Centre, have a keen interest in the well being of Care Centre residents. Together with Care Centre staff, they enthusiastically provide companionship and various forms of entertainment so that Care Centre residents do not feel lonely or neglected.
Being in the Care Centre does not mean that one has to stay in bed or drift around aimlessly. All our Care Centre residents are encouraged to participate in activities designed to stimulate their minds and give them an interest in the ‘outside’ world. These activities include knitting garments for orphans and young cancer patients, painting, adult colouring, paper folding, etc.
A popular activity is making and wearing outlandish fancy hats at functions to mark Spring day, Valentines day, and various other occasions. There is a bi-monthly Care Centre birthday party hosted by cottage residents who do all the catering and a pianist is on hand to lead sing-a-longs.
It will be noted from the photographs that Amberfield has carpeted passages leading to the rooms, there are easy chairs, pictures on the walls, and the whole atmosphere suggests a comfortable residential hotel.
Residents are, within space constraints, encouraged to bring their own furniture, pictures, ornaments and personal items and this of course adds to the ‘home from home’ feeling.
To cope with possible electricity outages the passages have immediate automatic battery back-up to provide lighting and each room is fitted with an emergency light switch to be activated if the resident so wishes.
The building is fitted with a smoke detector system which would set off an alarm and is also connected to the Municipal Fire Station and the control room of our Security contractor. Should a fire occur a team of volunteer cottage residents has been trained in evacuation procedures and the use of the necessary equipment provided.
The building is fully fitted with fire extinguishers and fire hoses.
MRS GWEN MARSHALL
To All The Very Special Staff,
You must receive so many letters of appreciation from families whose parent has passed away – and deservedly so. Your dedication, professionalism, caring and compassion for the old people living in your facility is legendary.
There was a time before Mom became too frail that she still enjoyed visiting the family. Yet, after a few days with us, she couldn’t wait to get back to the comfort and security of her room and the beloved staff. She loved you all so much and it was with deep sadness that, as her health deteriorated, we witnessed her changing from the fun loving, cheerful granny into a demanding, difficult old lady. We so admire the wonderful way you managed to care for mom throughout. The frail care facility was her home for so long and she appreciated everything about it, from the feeling of warmth and care she received and all the fun she enjoyed on birthdays and special occasions. She spoke at length on the phone about the wonderful concerts, activities, presentations etc. that were organized by Colleen. There were times when I used to think that she was having more fun at ninety than I was having at sixty!
Thanks to everyone of you who made Mom so happy and secure in her advanced years.
She shared all her concerns and woes with you and you always found the time to listen – From the family, we want to say a big thank you for your patience, love and care. We shall miss your friendly greetings in the foyer and corridors of Amberfield Frail Care, the beautiful gardens, the amazing bird life and the peaceful ambiance one senses on entering the building.
Bless you all and the wonderful work that you do.
Bev and Vince van Der Bijl
ROBYN WENDY DAY
How wonderful to see Amberfield Frail Care now on Facebook.
Four years ago, my dear late Mum Denise Bannister moved herself into F. Care. She became anxious and nervous living in her cottage on the property. It was a huge adjustment for her but as the years passed and her health deteriorated, I (her daughter from Natal) realised the real benefits of Frail Care. Mum was extremely challenging at times due to dementia but the Frail Care Sisters were constantly reassuring and understanding and answered my barrage of questions. Matron and Sisters were always kind, calm and gentle, not only to Mum but to anyone who happened to walk past. There was always time to have a little chat to the residents – very endearing. Quatro Cleaning Services are headed by Colleen, who manages all the carers, all of whom are outstanding, kind and considerate.
I had the opportunity to get to know many of them. Few folk realise exactly what the Carers do, I have seen first hand how they tend to the residents very personal needs, but they do so with patience and care. They are extremely special ladies and I will forever be grateful for all their care, patience and kindness shown to Mum. Entering Frail Care need never be daunting at Amberfield, as you are always met by my Colleen (Quatro) and Frail Care Secretary Cheryl.
Always smiles and always ready to listen. Thank you for all you ever did for Mum and our family – you are all – Matron, Sisters, Carers, Colleen, Cheryl – exceptional human beings.
In 1998, my mother Burnice Davies moved to Amberfield with Mr Norman Lucas. When he died in 2012, at Hazel Adams’ suggestion, Mum moved to the Amberfield Frail Care. Because we live not far away, we have visited her and Norman frequently, and got to know Amberfield fairly well. She died last month (January 2016), and it seems pertinent to now reflect on my 17-year association with Amberfield.
The security staff from Knight Alarms are always polite and professional. In particular I appreciate the trouble they took for the last three years to ensure that my mother’s Sunday newspapers were picked up by the Frail Care staff.
In your main office I have always been given efficient but friendly attention by Christina and Bev (as well as other staff whose names I do not know). Your predecessor, Mr Carrihill was most patient and kind when my mother needed a whole lot of affidavits prepared and signed a few years ago.
The communal gardens at Amberfield continue to look like a park. My mother often used to comment that it was all so immaculate and yet she seldom saw gardeners around. Recently my sister walked around the grounds, which she had not done before, and was so taken by the spacious layout, and the high degree of maintenance that have been given. We did see some gardeners that day. Last year, my mother was moved to a room that overlooked the driveway and garages, and I was pleased that in spring the window box was planted up, and the flowers looked lovely.
Mum often had her hair done in the hair salon. Recently her weekly appointments with Theresa were a highlight. Besides keeping mum’s hair looking really good for a 90-year-old, I appreciated how lovely Theresa was with Mum, sometimes needing to fetch her if she forgot it was Friday.
In the Frail Care, the staff gave Mum the best of attention for over three years. She was cared for gently and professionally, even when she was resistant to some of the requirements. My family have all commented on the home like décor and that there was never a hint of “old lady” smell about the place. Despite being very busy, Pam Oellermann has always had time to discuss our concerns about our mother. Whenever we raised a concern, she tried her best to address it, or find a suitable compromise. She never seemed to lose her sense of humour nor her compassion when dealing with elderly people. This attitude spills over into the other staff; the sisters, the carers, the cleaners, kitchen staff, and Colleen and Cheryl in the office. All should be complimented
All in all, Amberfield continues to give the impression of being a well-run ship, in very pleasant surroundings.