Seniors receive touching care

2015-12-01 06:00
Thando Mngqibisa Founder and Director of Thando's Touch Old age massage project massaging Peter Schoeman (79).

Thando Mngqibisa Founder and Director of Thando's Touch Old age massage project massaging Peter Schoeman (79).

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“After a lifetime of working, raising families and contributing to the success of this nation in countless other ways, senior citizens deserve to retire with dignity.”

American politician Charlie Gonzalez’s sentiment has led to a senior citizen massage project by NGO Thando’s Touch Maitland to care for the elderly in old-age homes around the city.

The project offers senior citizens free massage therapy.

It is still a pilot project for the next six months, but they feel the smiles from the seniors are paying off already and that it is a much-needed service for them.

Residents of old-age homes are often inactive, making it easy for disease to attack, says Thando Mngqibisa, founder and director of Thando’s Touch. With the new project the elderly have a reason to smile.

The project was started in October in three old-age homes, namely the Haven in Woodstock, CPOA Oakhaven in Heideveld and Ekuphumleni Frail and Aged Care in Gugulethu.

With the encounters that they have had at these homes massaging the elderly they can say their feet are set on the right path.

Mngqibisa says the events they had are leaving the old people livened up.

“Our past events have proven to be a success. We can only grow from strength to strength going forward. The smiles on their faces does nothing but confirms their gratitude.

“The patients we serve are often forgotten, lonely and spend most of their ageing days in isolation. We want to change this behaviour and mindset by using the power of touch to give physiological and emotional support. Our aim is to decrease the feelings of isolation, depression, anxiety and pain,” she says.

Love, supportShe says her organisation is passionate about seniors.

“We are passionate about the aged and we want to give them an improved, higher quality of life. This is a life-changing, spiritual journey, where there is a connection of the body, mind and soul. It is a great opportunity where senior citizens receive love, support, care and friendship.

“Senior citizens are an important part of our lives and our very existence. We want to show this generation that a good deed, a simple act of kindness can make this world a better place.”

Though their main focus at the moment is on old-age homes, Mngqibisa says they are not neglecting seniors within the communities.

“We started at old-age homes as these are the people who need help the most. We will be going out as well in communities and have a mobile truck where we can help our senior citizens. We are taking things gradually as we don’t have funds at the moment. We know we will get there and change the lives of our old people out there,” she says.

They are inviting volunteers, sponsors, partners, artists and the community to join them at their events.

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