Initiative to bring dignity to senior citizens

The seniors at Ikhaya Loxolo Lase Gugulethu Old Age Home recently received a donation of walking aides to help ensure that it’s easier for them to get around.

Among the items donated by the Department of Social Development and Al-Imdaad Foundation were walking sticks, hygiene packs and wheelchairs.

As part of the department’s outreach efforts, Social Development, MEC Albert Fritz had, earlier in the day, joined non-governmental organisation Al-Imdaad, Education MEC Debbie Schäfer, and Human Settlements MEC Bonginkosi Madikizela, to handover 200 packs of sanitary pads to school girls at the ID Mkhize Senior Secondary School in Gugulethu.

Addressing the gathering at the old age home, Mr Fritz said: “Today is more for tenants.

This is a special day for them. This is about (giving) dignity to the seniors.

“These walking sticks and wheelchairs will make them look good and comfortable.

“It will bring comfort and respect to older persons.”

He praised the staff at the home for looking after the senior citizens and said he was happy to see such a safe and clean environment.

“We promote safe environments for seniors. Nutrition must be right (and) cleanliness is another important thing.”

Seniors could not hide their excitement as they clapped and sang after his speech.

Al-Imdaad Foundation project manager Abed Karrim said his organisation was blessed to be in Gugulethu – and in the province -for the first time, emphasising that it was his organisation’s duty to assist seniors.

“In your last days of your life you must live with dignity. We are totally blessed to be here today. We are not doing our parents a favour. It is through their duah (prayers) that we are here today.

“We are here to add value and dignity to their lives and it is our duty to do so,” he said.

Mr Karrim promised to come back to the home – with blankets and other necessities – when they start their winter readiness programme with the social development department.

Facility manager Nokongama Matiwane said she was happy for the help and that they usually only benefit from such generosity during Mandela Month in July.

Ms Matiwane welcomed the donation but said there were still more challenges, among them a need for staff uniforms, transport and money to maintain the facility.

“But we are positive that one day a good Samaritan will come to help. But we must say through the support of the social development (department) and other stakeholders, we have benefited a lot.

“This donation and the walking sticks in particular will help them to walk from place to place.

“We are truly grateful to Al-Imdaad and the department,” she said.