Stress on caring for the elderly

2012-10-08 00:00

GOGO Eunice Mabaso was brought to tears when she and other grandmothers received blankets from Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini, in celebration of Grandparents Day, at St Mark’s Anglican Church in Imbali yesterday.

The United Nations has designated October 1 as International Day of Older Persons, and the first Sunday of October each year as Grandparents Day, to promote and respect the rights of older persons.

Dressed in her black and white church uniform, Mabaso told The Witness: “I am very happy. I feel special and I thank the minister for celebrating this day with us.”

The 71-year-old, who lives with two grandchildren in Imbali, said she enjoys having them around.

“I love them and love living with them. They respect me.”

She spends a lot of time with her grandchildren and imparts much wisdom to them, she said.

Yesterday’s event came in the wake of several elderly women in KwaZulu-Natal being raped in their homes.

In the latest incident, a 91-year-old Hayfields woman was raped by an intruder in her home on Friday. She was alone when she was attacked.

Dlamini said such incidents are “very disappointing”.

“It shows that these people have no conscience. The police must arrest them. Justice must take its course and they should be given longer sentences,” she said.

Dlamini urged families and communities to respect and take care of the elderly.

She also said they must not be left alone at home.

“That is irresponsible. It’s a sign of a disorganised society.”

• Siyathemba.Ben@media24.com

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