All Elim Home pictures supplied by courtesy of Die Burger
Elim Home believes that “every life has a meaning” and is dedicated to providing optimal care and maximising the potential of its residents. Nursing staff provide 24-hour care that is supplemented by other therapies and that aims to enhance the level of independence of each child. Children are divided into small, manageable groups according to their mental age and physical ability. Each group has its own caregiver that acts as a house parent and who provides for particular needs of individuals and facilitates educational and therapeutic interventions.

Beyond simply providing for the essentials of feeding, bathing and caring for these children, the Home strives to stimulate and maximise developmental potential that may exist so that the individual child’s opportunities for rehabilitation and their quality of life are increased. Disabled children require constant care and specialised stimulation both physically and mentally. At Elim Home, these needs are met not only by the caregivers in charge of each group, but also by a part-time physiotherapist a full-time occupational therapist.

Occupational therapy is an essential part of the rehabilitation process in any home for intellectually and physically disabled persons. At Elim Home, occupational therapy teaches essential life skills including those often taken for granted by most able-bodied people, for example picking up a spoon, opening a jar, washing with a cloth, etc. Besides learning basic life skills, cognitive development is also improved enabling children to gain independence in other basic tasks. Playing with appropriate toys during these sessions teaches children how to adapt to activities encountered on a daily basis.

As important as the Occupational Therapy programme is the Physiotherapy programme through which children are exercised with passive movement and stretching in order to prevent contractures and to increase mobility. The therapy also includes such vital training as head and trunk control, and balance to assist in the establishment of correct positioning, which makes for better feeding and breathing which is essential in the prevention of complications.