THE East London Senior Citizens Association (ELSCA) was formed in the late 1960s by a group of concerned organisations and individuals of East London to “provide for the need, care and welfare of an indigent and/or aged persons in old age homes or otherwise in the East London area”.
From small beginnings, ELSCA has grown into an organisation which now houses over 500 senior citizens in a number of homes including flats, cottages, houses and a converted hotel in the city, as well as the original Fairlands Retirement Village situated in Cambridge.
Residents of East London over the age of 60 from all walks of life can be accommodated and cared for by the association’s willing staff members.
Centrally situated and close to ELSCA’s head office is Manor House in St George’s Road, which provides accommodation with meals or self-catering facilities for over 90 senior citizens, with transport provided by a small bus for shopping and doctors’ visits. Behind Manor House and fronting St James Road, are two houses owned by ELSCA; at one, six rooms are rented with kitchen and bathroom facilities shared. At the other, each of the six rooms has its own bathroom with a communal kitchen.
Montrose Flats are also in St James Road. These 22 flats are available to those wishing to purchase a life right in this centrally situated area, retain their independence and still be under the ELSCA umbrella.
The association’s flagship, Fairlands Retirement Cottages, is situated in the East London suburb of Cambridge. Fairlands Retirement Village has grown to include 153 cottages and eight bed-sitters surrounding the nursing home.
The home offers a broad spectrum of care from ambulant to geriatric for 171 seniors, under the control of matron Kathy Smith. The home has many comforts including sun lounges, TV rooms and a hobbies centre.
There is a desperate need for sheltered accommodation in the form of retirement cottages. All the available cottages in the various retirement complexes are fully occupied and waiting lists are very extensive. Through innovative fund-raising ideas and bequests from estates and trusts, ELSCA manages to self-subsidise residents in the home undergoing financial problems, but unfortunately the association’s resources cannot stretch far enough to provide for all those in need of assistance, therefore fundraising efforts for the existence of the organisation is vital.
One of these fundraising initiatives, the Fairlands Bazaar, takes place this Saturday (July 29) at the home from 9am.