Bringing comfort to the elderly

2016-07-26 06:00
Mayor Particia de Lille greets some of the patients at the Beaconvale Frail Care Centre.  . PHOTO: City of cape town

Mayor Particia de Lille greets some of the patients at the Beaconvale Frail Care Centre. . PHOTO: City of cape town

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Mayor Patricia De Lille spent her 67 Minutes for Mandela at the Beaconvale Frail Care Centre in Beacon Valley on Monday.

“It is my honour to be with you all today as we share this day with our senior citizens. It is always refreshing and humbling to be in the company of the mothers and fathers who laid the foundation of our great city and who made the sacrifices that allow us to enjoy the rights and freedoms in the country we have today,” she says.

“I want to thank you for all that you have done for us, for your children and for society. We owe a great deal to our senior citizens and we are here today to say that we value you and what you have done for us.”

De Lille says over the past few years several interventions have been introduced with the aged in mind.

One such intervention was that of the Social Development Directorate who introduced a project that aims to raise awareness of the rights of older people and to highlight the services that are available to promote healthy living and active ageing.

“Our healthy living and active ageing programme encourages older persons to live healthy and active lives through programmes with City Health, the Department of Social Development, Dementia South Africa, the South African Police Service, Elderly Abuse, the South African Social Services Association and various community organisations,” she says.

This is complemented by the successful introduction of a home-based care unit which provides a variety of social care services.

The home-based caregivers assists senior citizens with light housekeeping tasks including cleaning, laundry, referrals to other social services, companionship and other tasks that seniors are no longer able to do on their own.

In the last financial year, the City recruited people from the job seekers database and trained 400 EPWP workers as caregivers where they provide assistance at people’s homes, old-age homes and clinics.

In 2014 more than 2580 senior citizens signed up for the programme and last year the number doubled to 5557.

Each year, the City also hosts the successful Cape Town Games for Older Persons where more than 4000 seniors from all over the city come to the Green Point Athletics track to participate in fun and games with a range of races and other physical activities.

De Lille also handed over 10 wheelchairs to residents requested through the ward councillors.

“My office also regularly donates wheelchairs, walkers, crutches and commodes to residents in need of these aids.

“Since 2013, we have donated more than 600 of these items to residents across the city,” she says.

De Lille also donated five wheelchairs, five commodes and 60 mattresses to the Beaconvale Frail Care Centre which she hopes “will go a long way in bringing comfort”.

“I am also pleased to announce that the City’s accredited (group of) solar water heater companies, who heard about your needs at the Centre, offered to donate and install three solar water heater systems worth over R60 000. Thank you to SunScan, Northface Solar, Renaissance Solar, SolarMax and Xstream Geysers for your generosity. Your donations are most appreciated and I know that the Centre will benefit greatly from the electricity cost savings achieved through solar heating,” says De Lille.

Although many were doing something for the less fortunate as part of Mandela Day, she encouraged people to not restrict good deeds to just one day.

“Tata Madiba personified the values of compassion, humanity, sacrifice and caring for those in need. He said: ‘There is nothing more invigorating than to do doing something that makes the people around you smile’. His life’s work is a reminder to us that we can all do something – no matter how small – to help someone in need,” she says.

“If we show more respect and care in our daily interactions with one another, we can change many of the evils and social ills that are tearing families and communities apart.”

In closing De Lille thanked the management and staff at the Centre who “take on this selfless act of caring for our senior citizens and for being here for them every day so that they are not left all alone”.

“Your work is a labour of love and for that we thank you.”

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