Residents band together to help 'forsaken' elderly at Communicare housing

Pinelands resident Lisa Dinkelmann has rallied locals in her community to help a social housing group in her community which has allegedly abandoned its 21 senior citizens to fend for themselves.

Dinkelmann paid a visit to SAWAS House last week and was appalled by the lack of care provided to the Communicare seniors.

She says an elderly woman at the home told her that Communicare only provides them with accommodation, and nothing else, while many seniors cannot afford to feed themselves living on a pension.

Marie shared with my husband and I the current situation there. Basically Communicare is providing rental accommodation. That's all.

Lisa Dinkelmann, Pinelands resident

Some people can't afford a thing; items as basic as toilet paper. They are washing their dentures with toilet soap. A lot of them don't even have a bowl or a plate.

Lisa Dinkelmann, Pinelands resident

Dinkelmann wrote a Facebook post and shared it to a Pinelands community group, urging citizens to help with donations and other resources.

She says that the response has been overwhelming from locals in the area offering time, food, toiletries and other items.

Meanwhile, Communicare's Shaheen Adams says the plight of the elderly is a national problem, and not limited to SAWAS House - which he insists is not an old age home.

Communicare as an organisation is not able to provide frail care for residents. That was never the understanding... The elderly need help.

Shaheen Adams, General Manager for Rental Property Management at Communicare

Adams claims the rentals paid by tenants are subsidised, forcing Communicare to remain financially-sustainable.

Adams advises that Communicare no longer receives government support, and is unable to provide additional services as they did in the past.

We are needing to be completely self-sustaining. We run at substantial loses on many of our properties. SAWAS House is one such property.

Shaheen Adams, General Manager for Rental Property Management at Communicare

He claims that Communicare has helped elderly tenants with social support, financial concession and outsourced feeding schemes.

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