Geluksoord’s history commenced in 1968 when a committee was elected to work on a strategy for a centre for the frail elderly of Stellenbosch. The older residents of Utopia Old Age Home and other seniors who needed extra care, had to move to homes in nearby towns. Up to that stage there was no facility in town for them. Utopia/Geluksoord was originally a project of the Dutch Reformed Moedergemeente of Stellenbosch and in the beginning all the former Dutch Reformed congregations had a representative on the committee.
In 1973 a plot in Onder-Papegaaiberg was made available for a home for the frail elderly. It was the realisation of a long-cherished dream. The Department of Community Development agreed to partially finance this project, which was registered in 1976, but the Stellenbosch community had to raise and pay 20% of the building cost. A local architect, Mr Theo Pauw, designed the building and in 1977 the building thereof was announced.
On 1 October 1980 Geluksoord, built by a local builder, Mr Basil Williams, could receive the first residents. The original building could house 60 residents. From the very beginning the facilities also catered for persons in wheelchairs or who were bedridden and a special department catered for people living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The first staff totalled 37 members.
The community of Stellenbosch was involved with the home from the very beginning. On 28 February 1982, R50 000 had been raised through local donations and fundraising efforts. The initial need was aggravated, as two thirds of the residents were in a sub-economical group. They were mainly former residents of Utopia, which focused on housing for sub-economical senior ladies.
Funding was a worrying issue in the first years of the home’s existence. In 1996 there was a real risk that the lack of funds could see the closure of the home. Under the leadership of Prof. Mike de Vries, former chairman of the board and a strong financial team, a new strategy was followed. Donations, short-term interest-free loans, a new credit policy and a long-term strategy all formed part of this turnaround project.
For the first ten years of the home’s existence it was managed as part of Utopia Old Age Home. From 1997 Geluksoord had their own independent board of directors. A project to adapt the staff’s living quarters made accommodation for 10 extra residents available. One of the first board members was Mr AJ(Johan) du Bois from the farm Geluksoord near Koelenhof. He agreed that Geluksoord could use his farm’s name when the home began to function independently and formed its own identity. In 1997 the Tuinhof flats were built. The flats increased the accommodation to cater for 14 residents who were still independent to a certain extent. In total the home was then in a position to accommodate 80 residents according to their mobility and other factors influencing the care they needed.
In 2018 Geluksoord received funds from Mrs. Susan Roos’ estate and this wonderful bequest will be used to enlarge and improve the department for people living with dementia and Alzheimers. It will give five extra residents accommodation in this special facility when completed.
Geluksoord celebrated their 40th anniversary on 1 October 2020.
The Susan Roos Wing, for people with dementia and Alzheimer's disease, was officially opened at Geluksoord on Friday, 25 June 2021 after being renovated and enlarged the previous year. The project was made possible by a donation from the estate of Susan Roos.
GET INVOLVED AT GELUKSOORD:
Practical ideas how your involvement can benefit them:
- Give a donation (once-off or monthly).
- Bequests – contact the home for more information.
- Visit residents who do not have family members near-by when possible.
- You can contribute to or get involved with the Market Day or Spring Tea – contact Geluksoord for more information.