News24

Govt, elderly to work together

2010-06-24 19:12

Johannesburg - The government and the SA Older Persons Forum have agreed to work together to improve services for older people.

Following a meeting between the forum and the deputy Social Development Minister, Bathabile Dlamini, they agreed to co-operate on some key points, a statement said on Thursday.

These include the finalisation of an implementation plan for the Older Persons Act which came into operation on April 1 this year and the official launch of the act on July 15, 2010 at the Ugu municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.

They would also co-operate on the registration of services for older people and the review of funding criteria for frail-care residential facilities.

Department spokesperson Mandla Mathebula said that after the act had been implemented, they had embarked on a series of awareness programmes to let old people, NGOs and other organisations who work for their rights, know about the key points of the act and this would continue.

One of the key points was that elderly people were encouraged to live an active life and not fritter away their golden years in front of a television set or in bed.

This included participating in sport and part of the discussions included the "Golden Games" which promotes this. Old age homes would also be involved in promoting the active life concept.

Mathebula said another key factor was providing old people with protection, including the provision of social grants.

This was so they were not dependent on their families. Social workers had to monitor that the elderly were not stripped of these benefits by abusive family members.