Have you been curious about the Little Gems respite and residential care for disabled children in Gauteng that I have been writing about? The day has finally arrived, and I can tell you more about it.
You’ll remember that Kerry Hackeson was searching for the right property in the Joburg area? She found it! Located in a boomed suburb just off the Old Pretoria/Johannesburg road in Glen Austin, Midrand, it is a spacious home with separate buildings that can be used as therapy studios and nurses quarters.
A couple of weeks ago Kerry invited me over to have a look around while she was having renovations done to make the house wheelchair-friendly, among other upgrades. My husband’s folks were visiting from the Eastern Cape, so my mom-in-law came with me.
The house will be called Oakhaven. When you arrived there is an outside office where you can check in, or meet with Kerry or your child’s therapists and nurses.
Walking through the main house, Oakhaven itself, there is comfortable lounge where the children can relax and socialise, that opens onto a large patio that has a braai area. In the front half of the house, is also a big, sunny room especially for children that need a high degree of physical care, such as feeding tubes etc.
Further into the house, there are several large bedrooms in Oakhaven that the residents will share (you know how big these homes have been built on those generous plots in the Glen Austin area.) All the bathrooms in the house have been completely redone, so that there are no sharp tiled edges or slippery surfaces, and there are plenty of support rails in showers and bathtubs.
There is also a dining room with a long, family style table down the middle, as well as a kitchen, a laundry room, and probably the biggest pantry I have ever seen.
As they say, that’s not all, folks. One of my biggest stresses with placing our Travis the Lionheart in residential or respite care was that he would receive no stimulation and be bored silly. Kerry showed me a huge yoga studio with laminate flooring that is alongside the main house at Oakhaven. She was in the process of diving it into two halves: one for a therapy studio-slash-activities-room, and the other half is being converted into a sensory room, with fibre optic lights that she has imported especially from England (I saw her excitement on Facebook the other day when they arrived in South Africa).
I didn’t take any photos during our walk-around while the renovations were still being done at Oakhaven, but if you have been searching for residential or respite care in the Gauteng area for your disabled child – come through to the open day on 25 October, and see for yourself. No commitments, just come and have a look!
The Lionheart family will also be going through to the open day as Oakhaven will be hosting our Travis for respite care for weekends every so often. Come and say hello if you spot me!
And help me spread the word. We want Oakhaven to be a success, so that special needs families like ours in Gauteng finally have options for residential or respite care. Trust me, I have been looking for the right place for a long time, a home that is, well, a home! And not a ‘facility’ or ‘institution’ or run-down due to lack of funding. (Oakhaven is privately run, and not reliant on government support – which doesn’t mean that private sponsorship isn’t welcome. Kerry has some fantastic ideas, like a sensory garden, that a corporate sponsor could make a reality.)
Here is your personal invitation to the open day. You can also contact Kerry on firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to find out more about Oakhaven, such as fees, the types of care offered and the facilities on the property. She is a wonderful person; don’t be shy to chat to her directly. You can also like the Facebook page for updates on Oakhaven.
To follow our full story, searching for residential care for our son, go here.