We need more centres for the aged

The government has many faults and is always criticised for various reasons, and sometimes rightly so. You can even think it is doing nothing right. But the opposite is true. There are certain things the government is doing very well.

For instance, the establishment of the centres for the elderly is one brilliant idea. Kagiso is one of the fortunate areas where government has built a centre for the aged – this is something new in our community. It is called the Kagiso Centre for the Aged (KCA).

Thanks to the Department of Social Development.

KCA is run professionally and has a board, which has been elected by the beneficiaries (the elderly). I serve as the deputy chair. The board holds regular meetings as scheduled. The centre also has a manager, administrator, social workers, a nurse and so on. It is in good financial health.

The centre has become a refuge for the elderly. Since they started going to the centre, their health has improved. This is because they exercise and eat healthy. And their social network has also increased because they meet other elders there.

They go to the centre five days a week and spend almost the entire day there. They follow a programme and do all sorts of things such as art, singing, fellowship, praying and so on. This makes them feel good and special. It’s like they have found themselves all over again.

Unfortunately, the elderly are among the most vulnerable in our society. They are abused (financially and otherwise), dejected and rejected. Sometimes they are accused of being witches and sometimes injured or killed. They need our protection and total support.

We need more centres and homes for the elderly in Kagiso. The existing ones (including Kgoro) are not enough. KCA currently accommodates three hundred beneficiaries. And that is a small number compared to the number of elderly people we have in our community.

The pertinent question is: who is going to build more centres and homes for the elderly? The government is playing its role. We as a community also need to come to the party and give a helping hand. These are our grannies and grandfathers we talking about here. So let’s show that we love and care about them.

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