Daycare centre for the elderly

2012-10-11 00:00

FOLLOWING the brutal rapes of the elderly in Swayimane, the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Development has decided to open a state-of-the-art daycare centre for the elderly in the area. It’s the first of its kind to be owned by the department.

Department spokesperson Vukani Mbhele told The Witness that the daycare centre will cater to different needs of the aged in the community.

“It will be a place for them to go or be taken to to be pampered and will help them in terms of their diet, exercise and they’ll even get massages and counselling,” he added.

It’s not only for grandmothers, but for grandfathers too.

Mbhele said the main aim is to ensure that they are not left alone at home when their children are at work.

A 94-year-old woman was raped in in July, followed by the rape of an 82-year-old woman, both in Swayimane. In August, The Witness reported that a 74-year-old woman was raped, stabbed and robbed in her granny flat in Bisley. She was alone at the time.

On Friday last week, a 91-year-old Hayfields woman was also raped at her home.

“We’re trying to make sure that pensioners are happy and not lonely and stressed,” said Mbhele.

The department said the R15 million project will also house an early childhood development centre and a youth centre. Construction would start before the end of the financial year.

Mbhele said more of these centres will be established across the province.

Inkatha Freedom Party social development spokesperson Helen Makhuba praised the initiative, saying: “We hope that these daycare centres will protect elderly people, especially women, from the attackers who rape and kill them.”

She said there were not enough homes for the elderly in rural areas.

“As a country we should really look after our old people. They should not be neglected and forgotten in the plans of our country.

“These are valuable citizens. They are our parents and grandparents, who also looked after us and protected us when we could not protect ourselves. As their children, we should also protect them,” Makhuba added.

• gabisile.ngcobo@witness.co.za

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