Elders urged to stay healthy

2019-12-05 06:00
Dementia SA social worker Phanzisa Mbilini (yellow tshirt) addressing elders during the event. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

Dementia SA social worker Phanzisa Mbilini (yellow tshirt) addressing elders during the event. PHOTO: UNATHI OBOSE

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Hundreds of senior citizens gathered at the Ruth First community hall in Brown’s Farm, Philippi, on Thursday 28 November for a Christmas party organised by Nyanga police officers.

They were informed about their rights and how to stay healthy.

Later the elders were entertained by choral music.

Nomvume Kose (67) from 38 Section in Brown’s Farm described the event as an eye-opener.

“We learned about different diseases that are likely to affect old people including dementia, high blood pressure and diabetes. We also learned about how to protect ourselves from our children,” said Kose.

She said elders are being harassed and abused by their own children.

“We are forced to stay with our grandchildren while their mothers are in the taverns. Our children are using children’s grants for their own benefits,” she said.

Provincial police spokesperson Brig Novela Potelwa said they want to empower elders to know their rights and where to go when they have problem.

“We know senior citizens are the most vulnerable people, particularly during the festive season. The event is part of 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children where we educate and encourage anyone to report any wrongdoing to the police,” she said.

Social worker Phazisa Mbilini from Dementia SA said they informed the seniors about the signs and symptoms of dementia.

“Elders are the ones who suffer from dementia the most. And in most black communities people associate dementia with witchcraft. People with dementia lose their memory and sometimes they speak about something that happened a long time ago,” says Mbilini.

“We encourage people if they see anything unusual about their grandparents to take them to hospital,” said Mbilini.

After the event elders were given food parcels donated by Gift of the Givers Foundation.

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