Seychelles first respite care centre for the elderly to open soon | 25 July 2019
Located at Ma Constance, Anse Etoile, the ‘Let Your Light Shine Respite Care Centre’ is set to be the first one of its kind in Seychelles when it opens its doors to clients in August.
Owned by couple Marie-Alice and Jonathan Weatheral, the centre has been designed to offer caregivers with a daycare centre or a temporary place to bring their elderly parents or family members, depending on their needs.
Mrs Weatheral explained that primary caregivers of ageing parents or loved ones experience moments of exhaustion and stress or have other important responsibilities to attend to, hence they need a break every so often.
“This is what the centre is for. It will work like a daycare centre where they will be able to bring their elderly parents for a day and pick them up later or even place them here for a few days, a fortnight or a month. It will depend on the customer,” Mrs Weatheral stated.
She stressed that the care centre will not be a home for the elderly or a place “where people go to die” but rather a place where they can be pampered and participate in a variety of activities.
“I know that there are some people who have elderly parents who they cannot leave alone at home to go to work. Some find carers for them but some prefer to stay with their elderly parents and they lose their income, which can bring about a lot of financial burdens,” she noted.
Now with the new respite centre, their elderly parents can be taken care of and pampered while they are at work. They will be provided with breakfast, lunch, tea time snacks and dinner, if required.
“The centre is also open to those who need to place their elderly loved ones while they are away for a weekend or travelling or even if they just need to attend a wedding or other event.”
However the facility will not be able to cater for elderly customers who need medical assistance as offered in hospital or hospices.
“We can take up people who are taking their medicines or who are suffering from Alzheimers and such but we cannot care for patients who need actual medical care.”
The centre will also provide an opportunity for the elderly citizens to interact with each other and engage in various stimulating activities such as crafts, cooking, gardening, games, music therapy and field trips.
With its change of use application already approved, ‘Let Your Light Shine’ will start out small but Mrs Weatheral said there are possibilities for expansion in the future on the land.
When asked the reason why she decided to leave her stable job as a financial comptroller to undertake a new business venture, Mrs Weatheral replied: “I love to help people. We have never had this type of facility in the country before; you always hear of people complaining that they have nowhere to put their elderly parents and I wanted to remediate this.”
“It was a huge decision for me to leave my job but my husband and I felt that we would be undertaking a good cause,” she further added.
The centre is in contact with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Family Affairs and expects to work in close collaboration with the Agency for Social Protection.
Daycare centres for the elderly initiated by the private sector has been encouraged by the government with President Danny Faure announcing that land would be put at the disposal of potential investors.
Although her centre would be on a smaller scale than these future facilities, Mrs Weatheral strongly believes in its potential.
“There is an advantage to having a smaller scale care centre: it provides a more personalised care. In any case I welcome competition because it helps centres to improve on their services, since people tend to provide their critique and comparing one centre to another.”
“I wish that there were more similar smaller scale care facilities in each districts rather than a centralised institution,” she continued.
With an increasingly ageing population, the Weatherals’ initiative is sure to be very much welcomed by Seychellois families.
The centre can be reached on 2512276 or through email email@example.com.