We say goodbye to Riva Kaufman and Joan Butler

Riva Kaufman and Joan Butler retired at the end of February and we wish them all the best for the future. They will be missed by the staff and residents of Highlands House.

 Riva Kaufman3

 Riva giving over knitted bags to children at Lilitha Creche

 Riva Kaufman - Assistant Social Worker

When looking for Riva, look for balls of wool, jerseys or blankets and you will find her. Riva has been   with Highlands House for 21 years. She tells the story that when she started at the Home nobody really knew what she should do. She had been brought into the Home to help some of the residents and slowly she created her job description, one of caring for residents. She is the person you may have seen taking residents shopping, applying for their pensions and identifications, or spending time with them to see that they keep in contact with their family. Her position progressed over the years to providing group activities, seeing what games the residents liked to play, reminiscing with them etc. She extended her groups to the Special Care Unit and worked there for a while.

Riva's caring nature led her to look at projects that not only helped the residents but also the broader community. Her knitters group has become synonymous with Highlands House and they have knitted jerseys for babies with HIV, blankets, beanies, Christmas presents and bags. Much of these go to Mowbray Maternity Hospital and Bulelani Crèche.   She feels that this has a big impact on the residents as they are excited about making a change and contributing to the broader community.

Riva has seen many wonderful changes over the past 21 years and is amazed at the dedication of the staff at Highlands House. She knows that her programmes will be continued when she leaves. However she won't be sitting still. She intends to volunteer at Hospice, Glendale and attend a few more Shiurim. Further she hopes to see her family in Israel more often. For Riva, Highlands House became her family and she knows she will be back often to say hello.

 Joan Butler


Joan Butler - Staff Development Manager

Joan Butler has been at Highlands House for nearly 12 years. Having dual nationality, Joan lived in South Africa and the United Kingdom. In the UK she worked in community nursing, educational training and continuing education for developing professionals. In 1991 she decided to move back to South Africa. She worked in Hospice Care and was the first community sister to start community hospices on the West Coast. These have expanded and still operate today. She then decided to join Highlands House as their Staff Development Manager, a passion of hers.  She says that things have changed dramatically over the period she has been with Highlands House. "The transformation has actually been the bringing of theory into practice, a paradigm shift from a medical illness model to a health and wellness model for the elderly. What has happened here at Highlands House is that we now have individualised care and care plans; and the delivery of care is rather than of a hospital to that of a home within a community with very specific care needs." For her this has been the exciting part and has become the ethos of the Home. When asked what the most rewarding thing has been, her answer is always staff development. She beams when she speaks about her staff and how many have moved from being caregivers to managers. "It's wonderful to watch them grow as people as well as in their work capacity". Her greatest legacy is the change that was brought to Highlands House with regard to care management and she will miss being part of the team and the innovation that is happening in the Home. However, to her this time is very special as she feels that she is very blessed to be healthy and well at this age and is excited for this next stage of her life. She hopes to embrace many new things and experiences.


Revamp of our Coffee Shop
R600 000
R50 000

We are entering a new era and its time for our coffee shop to be upgraded. We're making good progress to making funds available but we're not quite there yet. Help us get there!