Seniors march for help

2019-06-20 06:00
The elderly marched the streets of Langa to raise awareness about elderly abuse.PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

The elderly marched the streets of Langa to raise awareness about elderly abuse.PHOTO: SIYABONGA KALIPA

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Elderly people from various townships in Cape Town marched through the streets of Langa on Thursday 13 June in celebration of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day.

The day is celebrated globally on 15 June and last week’s celebrations, in Langa, were held at St Francis Centre.

The event was organised by Age-In-Action, a non-profit organisation (NPO) that works with elderly people.

The advocacy organisation strives to uphold the rights and the dignity of older persons through lobbying for improved access to care, support and protection, training and development.

Age-In-Action social worker Zusakhe Voyi said they held the event to raise awareness about the abuse of elderly people. As social workers, she said they deal with abuse cases daily.

She said most of the abuse is carried out by family members. This, she said is done through emotional abuse.

Voyi said even the communities do not recognise the elderly because they exclude old people in community activities.

“A lot of these abusers are their children and grandchildren who sometimes take their pension money because they can’t fight for themselves,” she said.

Although the day is celebrated on June 15, Voyi said they decided to celebrate it a bit early, to raise awareness about the day.

Nonkonzo Kutta-Meshack, of Nolungile Club from Langa, said it is very common for elderly to be abused and it is usually by their own family members.

She encouraged the pensioners to speak out about what they experience.

She said there are people that are willing to listen to them.

Ivan Davids (69), of Salwary Senior Club from Mitchell’s Plain, said they do not always get the help they require when it comes to abuse.

“The government can do better when it comes to dealing with the issue of abuse of the elderly even though they are trying,” said Davids.

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