In the delicate journey of navigating dementia, finding the right care facility becomes paramount in ensuring the well-being and dignity of our loved ones. Livewell stands as a beacon of specialised dementia care, where compassion, expertise and a commitment to preserving the essence of each individual are at the forefront. As a daughter witnessing the profound impact of Livewell (Somerset West) on her parents’ life, the following testimonial unveils a heartfelt narrative of the exceptional care and support provided by our dedicated facility. It is a testament to the invaluable role Livewell plays in enriching the lives of those facing the challenges of dementia, offering not only a sanctuary of understanding but also a source of hope and comfort for both residents and their families alike.

“I first came across Livewell in mid-September 2023. My 97-year-old father was struggling to cope on his own without assistance. As my parent’s home is fairly small, they weren’t keen on having carers in the house, so a friend suggested we look at the facilities such as Livewell. Even though my dad wasn’t suffering from Dementia, I still decided to take a look at what is offered there.

From the moment I entered this beautifully renovated manor home, nestled in the heart of Somerset West, I was completely bowled over. The gardens are exquisite – neatly manicured, with huge lush trees, flower beds and even some flower and herb boxes that some of the residents at Livewell tend and care for on a daily basis. The manor home is beautifully furnished with high wooden ceilings, and the furnishings are exceptionally tasteful. In fact, when walking through the entrance doors, I felt like I was walking into a beautiful historic home.

Susan Swanepoel, the Operations Manager at Livewell, explained the setup to me about my dad moving into Livewell over a cup of tea and homemade cookies. Yes, they even have an in-house baker who makes scones, cookies, quiches and pastries for the residents on a daily basis! I was immediately drawn to Susan as she has a very professional yet warm nature. We were delighted to hear that there was a room available for my dad and Susan took me on a tour of Livewell and showed me the prospective room for my dad. It was neat and freshly painted with a lovely view of the gardens. The general “feel” whilst walking along the corridors is the amazing amount of light filtering into the glass windows, and I so enjoyed looking at the gardens, the ducks and the squirrels. An added bonus is the fact that Livewell allows pets to be accompanied by the residents when they live there.

We decided, as a family, that this was the perfect place for Dad to move into. From the moment he arrived at Livewell, he didn’t stop smiling. He had carers 24/7. Each and every carer was gentle, always attentive and treated Dad with love and respect. We were allowed to visit Dad any time of the day or early evening, and we could bring his beloved dog, Josie, with us on our visits.

I found all of the staff incredible, from the guard outside Livewell, the receptionist, the carers, the cooks, etc. All of the staff are genuinely happy, kind and caring. In fact, I spoke with some of them, who all admitted how much they loved their work.

I so enjoyed my visits there. The staff entertained the residents with games, stretching exercises, bowls, tennis (or wheelchair tennis), singing, simple chats, card games and Rummikub. On one occasion, lively music was played, and some of the residents were invited to dance in the lounge where they were sitting! I found this delightful to watch, and the smiles on everyone’s faces reflected their enjoyment. If a major Springbok rugby match was being played, the staff all wore Springbok T-shirts, and whoever wanted to watch the match was served biltong and popcorn.

Sadly, my dad passed away, but we could not have wished for a more special place for him to spend the last stage of his life. He even played a game of Bingo the day before he passed away – he had never played Bingo in his life!

To add to our experience at Livewell was the fact that they offered to have the memorial celebration for Dad in the glass gazebo, which is situated in the gardens there. Tea and coffee were served, 80 candles were dotted around the gazebo and couches and loungers were moved into the gazebo to appear like a sitting room. The memorial was a wonderful success, and everyone was overwhelmed by the beautiful surroundings at Livewell. 

I recommend Livewell very highly to absolutely anyone who needs assistance and care. It is most certainly “a home from home”, and I rate it higher than five stars. Well done to a fabulous team of exceptional people who gave Dad great laughter, care, love and joy during the last days of his life.”

– Toni van Houweninge