After over a decade of ‘post-retirement’ work for Rand Aid’s Elphin Lodge retirement village, liaison manager Phyllis Phillips has ‘officially’ retired.
“Phyllis has had a long relationship with Rand Aid, as a colleague in the retirement community and, before her retirement from the facility she ran in Witbank – which many Rand Aid managers were taken to, to see her lovely village and care centre and visit the outreach centre she established in the township,” says Elphin Lodge manager Helen Petrie.
When Phyllis appeared at Rand Aid’s head office retired and enquiring about hiring a facility, she was offered a job on the spot. And so her journey with Elphin Lodge began.
“As our newly minted liaison manager, Phyllis always had her eye on ‘doing things better’. It was Phyllis who saw the need for a coffee shop at Elphin, and she saw her idea through to fruition,” says Helen.
“She loved the idea of ‘life stories’, to record loved ones’ memories and lives, and facilitated a number of partnerships for a writer to meet regularly with an Elder to record their memories. More than a few stories were bound and given to family members as a treasured record,” she adds.
Phyllis managed frail care admissions and Elphin village sales for years, and only stepped away from frail care interviews and admissions when Covid-19 struck. She isolated at home for almost two years but continued to sell village units and keep the waiting list going.
Sadly, Phyllis lost her beloved husband to Covid-19, but her drive to work and be of use to the Elphin community kept her active until her last working day – on which she sold unit 425.
Phyllis is moving to Israel with her son Michael and his family.
“We wish her good health and a happy landing in her new home,” says Helen.
Congratulations to Debbie Beech, who took on the role of Elphin Lodge’s 2IC on 1 April.
Debbie joined Rand Aid in February 2019 as a social worker.
“I was based at head office but worked at Elphin Lodge and Ron Smith Care Centre. During Covid-19, in 2020, I moved to Elphin Lodge permanently to assist with family liaison, residents in the care centre who had Covid-19 and the medical team,” says Debbie.
In her new role, Debbie will sell Elphin Lodge units, assist Helen with maintenance and other village matters, help new residents integrate into the village, and incorporate the Eden Alternative ethos into Elphin Lodge.
She will also continue with her social work role until a replacement is found.
“I am looking forward to engaging with new residents and helping them transition into Elphin Lodge and village life. I am also very excited about ‘Edenising’ Elphin and starting projects that get residents involved in meaningful activities,” says Debbie.