If your loved one is living in a Residential Facility for Older People in South Africa (Care Home), or if you visit a Facility, then you need to know the following:

A) Is the Facility Registered according to the Laws of the Land?

The Registration Certificates of the Facility must be visible to members of the public and residents at the entrance of the Facility.

Certificate nr.1 – From the Department of Social Development according to the Older Persons Act.2006 (Act no.13 of 2006) indicating:

  1. The Certificate Number
  2. The Name of the Facility, address of Facility
  3. How many people may be accommodated.
  4. Level of Care – example: Frail Care

Certificate nr.2 – In the Instance that the Facility accommodate a Person living with any form of Dementia, a Certificate from the Department of Community Mental Health indicating:

  1. The Certificate Number
  2. The Name of the Facility, address of Facility
  3. How many people may be accommodated.

B) Ask for the Registered Nurse ?

If any Frail Residents or Persons living with Dementia are accommodated in the Facility, the Facility must be Registered as a Category C (Frail Care) Facility. In such instance the Facility must employ a Registered Nurse/s to be in charge of the Clinical Management of the Facility. In most Facilities of small medium size accommodating from 15 to 25 Persons, it will mean that a minimum of two Registered Nurses will have to be employed for shift working.

C) Walk around and observe the Facility’s Layout, Sizes of Rooms, Dining Areas, Living Areas, Kitchen, Laundry, etc.


  1. Accommodation (Rooms).
    1. Single Room size of minimum 9 square meters.
    2. Double Room size of minimum 16 square meters.
    3. Ward Type Rooms – Maximum Persons of 4. Each Bed/Person with a 7,5 square meters space. Un-obscured 1,5 meters between beds.
    4. Hand Basin in each room with Hot and Cold Running Water.
    5. Nurse call system in the Rooms
  2. Toilets and Bathrooms
    1. Minimum Requirements is 1 Toilet and 1 Bathroom for every 8 Persons. 1 Toilet must have at least a Floor area of 2,9m, 1,6m wide and door bigger than 800mm.
    2. Separate staff and public toilets with hand basins for Male and Female.
    3. Emergency Nurse Call system in the Bathrooms, non-slip, grab rails.
  3. Passages, steps, staircases and ramps
    1. Outside passages must be protected for elements.
    2. Corridors of at least 1,8m wide with grab rails on one side.
    3. Non slip, steps not higher than 130mm or narrower than 355mm
  4. Sluice Room
    1. Minimum of 7,5 square meters and many other requirements.
  5. Kitchen
    1. Minimum size of 16 square meters for 32 Residents alternatively measure 0,5 square meter per Resident. Example a home with a License for 18 Persons must have a kitchen with at least a 9 square meter floor area.
  6. Dining Room
    1. YES, there must be a Dining Room with at least 1,5 square meter per person of space. So again a Facility with 18 persons, must have a Dining Room of at least 27 square meters.
  7. Living Room/ Recreation Room 
    1. A Separate Living room of also 1,5 square meters per person or then 27 square meters for 18 persons.
    2. This room must be designed such that it can be used for Occupational Therapy.
  8. Rest of Buildings/Facility
    1. Nursing Office/ Nurse Station
    2. Laundry
    3. Stoor Room
    4. Staff Rest, etc.

The “National Norms and Standards Regarding the Acceptable Levels of Services to Older People and Service Standards for Residential Facilities” handle with many more aspects, below is not a complete list, such as:

  1. Admission Procedure and Policies
  2. Residential Care Regulations
  3. Provision of Food, Meals etc
  4. Management services such as Residents Committees
  5. Financial and Asset Management
  6. Human Resources for instance the Formula of Minimum Number of Nursing, Care and Support Staff
  7. Rights of Older People
  8. Individual Care Plan for every Person
  9. Health and Safety
  10. Emergency services


Is your loved one living in an overcrowded, unlawful Care Home? If so, you have the right to speak up.