Food parcels help to curb loneliness

2017-01-11 06:02
Flamingo Casino teamed up with the Metro FM Heatwave team by donating money towards food parcels for the elderly of the Seotchoareng Old Age Home for Christmas. With some of the elderly people are, from the left, Sibongile Mtyali (Metro FM station manager), Themba Maratsha (general manager of Flamingo Casino), oldest tenant Lettie Louw (98), Sofia Motsemme (79), Elisa Motshodi (86) and Elias Vu­mazonke (90). Photo: Boipelo Mere

Flamingo Casino teamed up with the Metro FM Heatwave team by donating money towards food parcels for the elderly of the Seotchoareng Old Age Home for Christmas. With some of the elderly people are, from the left, Sibongile Mtyali (Metro FM station manager), Themba Maratsha (general manager of Flamingo Casino), oldest tenant Lettie Louw (98), Sofia Motsemme (79), Elisa Motshodi (86) and Elias Vu­mazonke (90). Photo: Boipelo Mere

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Lettie Louw (98), the oldest tenant at the Seochoareng Old Age Home in Galeshewe, was pleased at being granted the opportunity by Flamingo Casino to put a decent plate of food on the table on Christmas Day.

Louw is amongst the 35 elderly people who continue to go through special days like birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day without the presence of their family – year in and year out.

They feel that they were sent to the old age home to die there, as their relatives never come to visit them.

According to the elderly, some of them also prefer not to visit their family on those days, due to the concern of burdening them.

They prefer to stay at the old age home with the hope that their family will visit them at least once in a while.

On Monday, 19 December, a few days before Christmas, Flamingo Casino, in partnership with the Metro FM Heatwave crew, visited the old age home, where they handed over food parcels.

Through this, the casino contributed R30 000 through its Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Programme.

Even on the day of the handover, there were no relatives to support their parents in the celebration.

Themba Maratsha, the general manager of Flamingo Casino, made the announcement that the handover was an act of the adopting process of the home onwards.

He explained that the adoption process will bring sustainability to these elderly people.

Describing elderly people as precious stones and diamonds of the world, Marasha vowed that the Seochoarang Old Age Home will continue to be part of their community projects as a way of showing appreciation towards them for bringing life into the world.

According to Sibongile Mtyali, the Metro FM station manager, the event was an effort to include the elderly in the Heatwave initiative, instead of only focussing on the young people.

“It is during these times (the festive season) that they tend to being forgotten and not considered by family members.

“At least with this provision of food, they have something special to prepare for themselves on Christmas,” explained Mtyali.

Highlighting that this is their first CSI project in the pro-vince, she committed to continue including the old age home in their annual Heatwave project.

In appreciation, Utlwanang Molusi, the caretaker since 2001, explained how the elderly tend to become lonely, especially over the holidays, due to neglect from their families who only dump them there and then disappear.

“Although they do cook for themselves, it is still sad that they are neglected.

“Their children and relatives are too busy to check on them, even on special occassions like their birthdays and other celebrations.

“It happens on many occassions that we have to look for the family members when the tenants fall ill,” added Molusi, saying that it was a great concern.

According to Molusi, the decision of the tenants not to visit or retire to their families become quite evident after realising their attitude towards the elderly.

In some cases, the family members would even send the elderly to the old age home only to take ownership of the elderly’s house and leave them to die there.

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