Caring for disabled and elderly people in the comfort of her own home has always been Marie Kriedemann’s dream and she finally followed her heart in 2010.
Kriedemann, 58, a professional nurse who qualified in 1981, started a home care facility in 2010 to care for those who could not care for themselves.
She said she had shared this goal with her husband, who died in 2008 of a cerebral aneurysm.
The mother of two said she had received full support from her children, when she sold her Beacon Bay townhouse to purchase a bigger home in Cambridge to accommodate those in need of special care in an intimate environment, at minimal cost.
She employs a team of 15 people, including 10 qualified nurses from Amathole nursing services.
“My first patient was a very good friend of my mother and she was 93 when she arrived here.
“Over the years more and more people have come in need of a place to stay and because I cannot turn them away, I have had to sacrifice my own bedroom.
“What I once thought was a big house, suddenly doesn’t have enough space to cater for all the people who knock on my door.”
Kriedemann said she had 25 patients in her care ranging from 41 to 94 years of age, who were either mentally or physically challenged or of advanced age.
Wheelchair-bound Marlene Lee, 53, a mother of three, who was paralysed seven years ago, when she fell while attempting to change the thermostat on her geyser, said her new home was intimate and very homely.
“I have been here since March last year and I came from a home in Johannesburg which literally felt like an institution. My daughter moved me here to be closer to her and I am happy in so many ways.
“Marie is an absolute angel and we are all family here,” she said.
Jynette Rack, 90, said she had been at the home since 2012 and could not imagine herself anywhere else.
“She is taking great care of us here and she is my only family.”
Milda Max, 58, from Krugersdorp suffered three severe strokes more than 12 years ago, which left the right side of her body paralysed.
“The staff are so friendly and caring, they don’t get annoyed and we are in a relaxed homely environment which I enjoy,” she said.
Kriedemann was nominated by Lorraine Gee and Bettina Du Buson who want to see her expand her property and accommodate more people.
Kriedemann commended her son, John, who gave up his life to fulfil her dream.
“He cooks and does all the maintenance around the house and my daughter relieves him twice a week,” she said.
“I am also blessed for all the support I get from friends and churches that come to visit and keep the patients entertained.”