Frequently Asked Questions

Abbeyfield South Africa

Abbeyfield SA administers homes for senior citizens in Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. Abbeyfield homes are an affordable option for senior citizens only

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1. Who may apply for accommodation?

Anyone, between the ages 60 and 75, who are still able to live independently may apply. You should be able to shop and cook for yourself and look after your own room.

2. What are the charges?

The cost of rental is dependent on where the house is located, the size of the room and whether any additional conveniences are available such as an ensuite or a kitchenette.

You may enquire by phone or in writing to the national office for the costs in a particular house. The aim is to offer affordable rentals to seniors in the lower income groups, while ensuring that each Abbeyfield house is non-profit making but fully self-supporting.

3. Is a capital deposit required upon entry into an Abbeyfield Home?

Yes – You are required to pay a deposit equal to a month of your rental cost.  This is a non-refundable deposit used to clean and refurbish the room when you leave. 

Each house runs as an individual entity and has its own bank account. Rental received is deposited directly into the house bank account and covers the municipal cost, insurance, emergency response system, cleaning materials, garden service and minor repairs. We strive to ensure that each house is economically viable and well maintained.

4. Can married couples be accommodated?

Although most of our residents are single persons’ we do consider applications by couples. It should be noted however that not all homes are suitable for couples and that couples will be assessed individually and as a couple.

5. Who would my fellow residents be?

Abbeyfield has a very strict policy of non-discrimination against anyone regardless of their race, creed, colour, sex, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, or socioeconomic status. We do, however, try our best to match residents with one another.

6. Can both women and men reside in an Abbeyfield home?
Yes, but see question 5 above regarding compatibility. Also, statistics show that women live to a greater age than men, so it is likely that they will outnumber them.
7. What’s this about sponsorship?
Each applicant is asked to nominate a trusted relative, friend or professional adviser who can be contacted and consulted in case of emergency, increasing frailty or other difficulty. In some cases, Abbeyfield may require financial assurances from relatives or friends.
8. Are there any rules?

Yes, generic rules, and rules specific to the individual homes are applicable to all homes. It would be impossible to ensure a safe and happy environment for all residents without rules.

9. Is smoking forbidden?
Smoking is forbidden inside the houses. There must be a designated smoking area at each house, and it must be outside of the house.
10. Meals - who cooks?
In our homes residents’ shop and cook for themselves. Some may decide to share these tasks with each other; some will prefer their main meal at midday, while others choose the evening. Kitchens are fitted with lock-up cupboards for groceries, and several cooking stations. Everyone clears up after themselves.
11. Will I have to share a bathroom?
Yes, in most cases, but Abbeyfield houses have more bathrooms and toilets than normal homes do. Some rooms have private bathrooms.
12. Do I look after my own room?
Yes.  A cleaning service comes into the home once a month to do a thorough cleaning of the communal areas and the outside windows.  They will not enter your room at all so you are responsible for keeping it clean.  You are also responsible for your own laundry – facilities are available.
13. What happens if I have no furniture?
The local Society will, in some cases, TRY to assist.  You will in most cases need to appeal to your sponsor to help you.
14. Could I bring my pet?
No pets are allowed.  Exceptions may be made for a goldfish in a tank that you can keep in your room.
15. What happens if I become ill?
As in any family, minor ailments are coped with at home. If you need hospital care for any reason, it will be taken for granted that you will return to your Abbeyfield home – provided that it is the best course for you in the long run. Should your illness require long-term nursing care, other arrangements will have to be made by you, your family, your sponsor(s) or friends.
16. What if I become frail or in need off assisted living?

If due to frailty you can no longer look after yourself in your own room, you need care beyond that possible in an Abbeyfield home.

By age 70, even though you are likely to be as fit as a fiddle, you should plan for the time when you might need to transfer to a home which offers frail care.   However, because of the stress-free and secure environment of an Abbeyfield home, many of our residents remain fit and active, and stay with us until well into their eighties. 

Sponsors may be held contractually liable for costs related to a frail / assisted living facility.

17. Why isn’t there a society in my neighbourhood / city or community?
If you would like to start an Abbeyfield home in your community, please let us know by emailing us at info [@]