Mr Gideon Cezula is 93 years old and was confined to his bed because his daughter was unable to move him and he didn’t have access to a wheelchair. He really missed being able to go outside in the fresh air and feel the sun on his face.
Nosakhiwo Blayi, one of the RAP Community Disability Workers in the area helped the family to apply for a wheelchair. This has made a huge difference to Gideon and his daughter, because when he was confined to his bed, he was just waiting to die. Now he has more mobility and can do one of his favourite things, which is to sit outdoors enjoying the sunshine.
In rural areas, being confined to your bed, can be socially inhibiting as most socialising happens outdoors. Gideon wouldn’t have been able to visit his neighbours and friends. Having a wheelchair he is now able to socialise and doesn’t feel so alienated and cut off from his community.
There are several health risks, such as pressure sores and depression that being confined to bed can lead to. There is also a lot of stress placed on the caregiver and in Gideon’s case his daughter. It was difficult for her to see her father like this as well as feeling helpless because she did not know how to help him. There was the added pressure of what would she do if he became ill how would she transport him to the clinic or hospital? She may have had to a hire a private vehicle and that is an expense she can’t afford. A simple thing like a wheelchair has made a world of difference to both their lives.