Bedridden patients who will benefit when you partner with us
The Foundation’s board members have experience as most of us have a family member with a disease such as Multiple Sclerosis or MDS. We know how a disease impacts not only the patient, but also family and friends.
The Homecare Foundation raises funds for all types of patients. Most of the organizations that support patients will not, or cannot, commit to help fund their patients’ personal needs. (The organizations raise funds to cover operational costs and perhaps to pay for research that might help patients in future.)
The Homecare Foundation will only support bedridden patients that can provide a medical report.
It is important to clarify that the Homecare Foundation will mainly provide much needed funding to caretakers who earn above the Government’s required income brackets. There are medium to high LSM income people who are caught off-guard when a family member suddenly became ill and in need of frail care. They cannot change their own circumstances overnight and they earn above the Government’s required income structures, thus receiving social grants is not an option.
There are two types of Social Grants that people can apply for:
One Disability Grant of R1,500 per month: According to research done by Louise Ferreira - Africa Check, this Grant is currently paid out to more than 1.1 million South Africans. There are no income requirements listed. We assume that the 1.1 million people are adults who cannot work due to their disability.
Two Care Dependency Grant of R1,500 per month is being paid out to 129 000 parents taking care of children. To qualify for the Care Dependency Grant, the applicant must submit a medical assessment report on the child’s behalf and earn less than R169,200 (if single) or R338,400 (combined income if married) per year.
We cannot envisage how a caretaker can look after a bedridden patient when they must rely on the Government’s Care Dependency Grant of R1,500 per month.
The Foundation forecast to support approximately 12 500 bedridden patients per month. Many patients (especially Cancer patients) will unfortunately receive financial support for a short period (average, 4 months). Their caretakers might have resigned or took long-term unpaid leave to look after them. The Government focuses on long-term grants and therefore many Homecare supported caretakers will not be able to apply for Government grants.
We support patients in need of long-term frail care. Most of our caretakers cannot apply for government support due to Salary brackets. We help caretakers (people that can qualify) to register for the Government’s Care Dependency and Disability Grants when possible.
Hanno Fourie is just one example where parents are trapped in a position where they need to rely on the Homecare Foundation’s support. There are many cases where people cannot approach government.
Hanno was diagnosed in infancy with Spinal muscular atrophy Type 1. This means that he has profound muscle weakness of all his muscle groups as the messages that has to travel between his brain and spinal cord to his muscles are not being relayed by the anterior horn cell. As such he is unable to breathe or eat on his own. He requires 24/7 ventilation through a tracheostomy (small tube in his neck that is connected to his windpipe) with a ventilator. He feeds through a small tube in his stomach. Hanno is unable to sit or even turn by himself which means that he is 100% dependent on his carers for all his needs. Despite all of this Hanno is completely awake, alert and very bright. His cognition is completely normal. He has developed very good speech over the last 18 months and communicates very well.
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”
Hanno is an inspiration for the Homecare team. We developed software to assist children like Hanno and numerous adults in need of frail care support.
Johan Fourie (dad) is a director and is one of 3 shareholders of a company in Bellville. Because Johan is a shareholder in a business, he is not allowed to apply for Government support. Johan and Chantelle must raise R33,000 per month to support Hanno’s medical costs. (Their medical aid do not cover Hanno’s costs.) They are constantly doing fundraising events to try and keep their medical costs covered.
The Foundation assist people who do their best to find solutions towards their own financial predicaments. You can visit Hanno’s website for more information.
There are unfortunately also caretakers who cannot make time to do their own fundraising. They must look after their patients, and it is a 24-hour task. Our task is to help these caretakers.
We inform caretakers that we will distribute funds monthly amongst patients who were visited by the social worker in their area. We do a financial assessment of the shortfalls on budgets and we will distribute the available funds proportionally amongst all the caretakers whose applications have been approved.
There are even options where the Foundation provide interest free short term loans to caretakers who will be able to refund the Foundation after their caretaking ordeal is over.
Our focus is to implement 3 funding structures to assist caretakers:
Financial support from family members
Government’s Care Dependency & Disability Grant
Homecare financial support from the private sector
It is a fact that family members often get into arguments when one person is diagnosed with a disease such as Multiple Sclerosis (Motor neuron disease). There are frequently family members that choose to distance themselves from the patients and the burden to support the patient then falls on one family member. (We publish this content on the website to explain to business owners how relationships between families are demolished as a result of diseases. We worked on this project for years while we developed software to earn income for patients. We know of many families that are influenced by diseases such as Multiple Sclerosis, MDS, etc.)
The family member “caretaker” in financial need will in future approach the Homecare Foundation for financial support.
Our first task is to be an intermediary between the family members and to help them find a solution to support their patient. A better solution to such problems can often be found when a third "independent party" gets involved.
The applicant must provide a list of immediate family members and also what financial support the caretaker receives from the other family members. It often happens that family members choose to distance themselves totally from the patient and it is usually a scenario where the “caring natured” brother or sister ends up with caretaking and the financial burden.
Our admin team will contact the brothers and sisters and explain that we were approached to help fund shortfalls. It may be possible to negotiate with the brothers and sisters to donate, for example, R200 each.
We found that when a person is diagnosed with a disease such as Multiple Sclerosis that some family members rather choose to distance themselves as they know that the brother/sister with Multiple Sclerosis will need frail care support for years. We know of MS patients that lived 13 years with full frail care support. This results in a long-term financial and emotional burden on the caretaker.
In scenarios where people are diagnosed with for example Cancer, the family members tend to support one another better… It is as if the family members know that the burden will be for a short period.
The fact that an outside person contacts the brothers and sisters will help the applicant. We can explain to them that we have to compile a full report as part of our application procedures. It is explained that we assist the one brother/sister with sourcing funding from the private sector and also from Government.
In most scenarios, the applicant will not talk to brothers and sisters that decided not to help. They are often so disappointed and cross that they cannot or just do not want to ask for financial support, even if the amount is only R200. The Homecare Foundation can act as intermediary and we can also arrange that professional people meet with the family members to provide counselling. The counselling process may help the family to reunite. We might in certain scenarios raise R5 000 from other family members, and arrange the Government’s contributions as well. The funds that we raise amongst family members will be utilized to purchase groceries from our Spar partners.
The first focus point is most important. We have a reason to communicate with all the immediate family members and we can get professional people to save families that are destroyed by a disease!
Our team will also reveal the actual financial needs of all the bedridden patients we support to family members and friends. We use web-based reports to explain the total shortfall on budgets, the amount paid to caretakers and the number of caretakers that did not received payment because we did not receive confirmation from the social workers that the patient is still in need of financial support.
We forecast to donate on average R4,200 towards a bedridden patient (If we support 12 500 patients). It is a reasonable contribution and will make a huge difference. We will ask family and friends to re-evaluate their own insurance just to prevent them for becoming in financial need. We will contact the nearest financial advisor to provide support if the family member/friend do not have a relationship with a broker. We set-up a national support network for this task. Family members often reside in other provinces and towns and we will contact all the family members.
Government’s Care Dependency & Disability Grant
There are numerous people diagnosed with serious diseases that are not registered to receive a grant.
The first thing the patient do is to deny that he/she is ill… They believe they will overcome the inevitable.
The caretaker often finds it difficult to explain to the patient that he/she struggles to support the patient financially. They know that to apply for the Disability Grant, they need to provide medical reports and they need the patient to help with the application process.
Often, the caretaker doesn’t want to hurt the brother/sister and they choose to go without financial support from Government.
Our task is to get professionals to visit the caretaker and patient and explain to the patient that we have to involve as many people as possible, even Government, to support the caretaker until the patient has healed and is able to go back to work (We will obviously try to keep the patient positive about his/her circumstances).
There are also parents who often do not know about the Government’s Care Dependency grant. We work through every application to establish if it is possible to register the caretakers for Government support.
We explain to the caretakers that the Homecare Foundation can only pay out funds from the private sector after we confirmed that Government (when possible) also helps the caretaker. We provide top-up support.
The first 2 focus points will in most cases already help the caretaker enormously.
Private sector contributions
The Homecare Foundation supports businesses in order to earn income for patients.
The private sector also includes the public that can donate to help caretakers. The public will be reached via media campaigns. We need to emphasise the fact that a small contribution, from many people will make a huge difference to the caretakers.
The Homecare Foundation commits to distribute available funds to caretakers where the confirmations were received that the patients are still in need of support.
We will publish the fund distributions nationally and per area on the website. We will also publish the number of people that didn’t received donations when we couldn’t confirm their status
We hope to distribute on average R4,200 per month towards caretakers. It will only be people that are in desperate need (full frail care) that will receive funding.
There are caretakers that will, after their patients has passed on, return to work. A percentage of these people will after a few months donate funds back to the Foundation for the Foundation to provide support to other caretakers caught in the same predicament.
We build relationships with caretakers. We explain to them that the support they receive from the Foundation is donations (not loans). They are not legally bound to repay the Foundation. We however ask caretakers that in future can donate towards our cause to support us when they are back into a position where their financial difficulties have been resolved. This will help the Foundation to provide better support to a larger number of people.