Celebrating the Contribution of Older Persons
In commemoration of International Day of Older Persons on Saturday, 1 October, Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez has called on the whole of society to ensure the wellbeing and protection of older citizens.
Minister Fernandez conducted an oversight visit at the Department of Social Development-funded Douglas Murray Home in Retreat yesterday and spent the morning interacting with residents.
“The voices of older persons, along with their wellbeing continue to matter, and regardless of their age, our seniors’ contribution to society remains invaluable. Thank you for nurturing families and for sharing your wisdom, values and traditions,” said Fernandez.
This sentiment was echoed by the home’s managing director, Mr Theordore Gabriels. “Our seniors have invested so much into communities, families, and society as a whole. We need to raise awareness of the impact of an aging population, elevate consciousness about neglect and elder abuse, and the need to ensure that people can grow old with dignity,” said Gabriels.
The Douglas Murray Home, based in Retreat, has been in operation for 53 years, and cares for 73 residents on a 24-hour basis.
Gabriels added that the home is an active part of the surrounding community. In order to provide the best care for their residents, they have cultivated close relationships with the local day hospital, the police and other community organisations.
“Ensuring the wellbeing of older persons is a responsibility we all share. I therefore urge all citizens and families considering a residential care facility to ensure that it is registered by the Department of Social Development,” said Minister Fernandez.
Minister Fernandez also thanked all of those who cared for older persons, particularly through the Covid-19 pandemic, and for their ongoing dedication. “Caring for older persons is not simply a job, it’s a calling. In spite of all of the challenges, you continued to show up to ensure that older persons are cared for and live in a dignified environment.”
The Department funds 114 registered old age homes across the province. In addition, there are 94 registered, unfunded facilities in the Western Cape.
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