Lack of toilet strips woman of dignity

2018-06-27 06:01
Elsie Papier (100) Photo: Boipelo Mere

Elsie Papier (100) Photo: Boipelo Mere

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Elsie Papier has become the pride of Homevale Extension, Kimberley, after she turned 100 years old in April.

She continues to being a role model to many of her neighbours in 21st Street, including her neighbourhood, due to her strength of being able to move on her own from one place to another.

All that she wishes for is a toilet to be build for her and a wheelchair in order to maintain her confidence and dignity.

She is still regarded a strong women due to her strong sense of mobility at her age, although she lately ends up crawling to the toilet.

During Express Northern Cape’s visit to her home, the granny was sitting in the sun next to the toilet, a spot which she occupies on a daily basis.

“I am not asking for much, as my family gives me all the support that they can. This will be my biggest birthday present ever,” she pleads.

This, she said, is to avoid walking a long distance to the toilet as she lately finds it difficult to walk.

Ouma Papier has 28 grandchildren and she stays with two of her grandchildren in their two-roomed house, which is attached to a shack.

Ouma Papier initially had 12 children, of which eight passed on.

She feels blessed to have 56 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren, of which the youngest is three years old.

According to her, the reason why she has managed to keep so strong throughout the years, is because of being a hard worker.

“Old age has kicked in at full mode as my feet are stiff now. That is why I only request for a wheelchair and a toilet.

“This current toilet is too high for me. Even when I crawl to it I always get stuck at the door and someone has to assist, whether I like it or not.

“I do not want to burden my granddaughter, who is looking after me on a full time basis, as she is already doing too much.

“I can also not afford it to hire a car to take me to the clinic every time as everything has become too expensive.

“If I get a wheelchair she will just push me to where I have to go,” Ouma Papier explained.

She describes that it feels like her dignity is stripped whenever she falls over in an attempt to reach the toilet on her walking stick.

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