This year, the theme of the United Nations’ International Day of Older Persons on 1 October is “Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions”.
Tafta, which annually commemorates the day, will use the opportunity to showcase some of our elders’ wisdoms and human rights experiences. CEO Femada Shamam hopes that by doing so, the association will dispel some of the myths and stigmas of diminished mental capacity often associated with the ageing process.
“As the UN declaration around ageing rightfully states, the process of ageing should not compromise an older person’s fundamental human rights and inherent dignity,” Femada said.
Events included in the week-long “Week of Older Persons” (as it is celebrated in South Africa) include:
- A picnic for all Tafta elders on 1 October in Amanzimtoti
- Our elders’ Annual sports day at Hartley Road Primary on 3 October
- An Italian themed social planned for the Anna Conradie Wellness Centre at Tafta Lodge on 4 October 2018.
Also included in the week’s line-up are tea and pamper parties, visits to restaurants, Ushaka Marine World and other outings sponsored by some of our long standing benefactors.
98-year old Tafta Kings Hall resident Mrs Senmathie Pillay, says growing old means keeping busy and keeping her mind active by supporting causes that will benefit others.
“We can each play a part in making the world a better place through the service of others. When you’re able to, always reach out to a person who needs a helping hand.”
Hashim and Gloria Vawda, also Tafta residents, say their own experiences in a previously segregated South Africa changed significantly when they moved into an integrated Tafta community. Said Mr Vawda: “I’ve learnt that you need to invest time in looking past exteriors – get to know people on a deeper level and differences become insignificant.”
Barbara Bannister, a former Tafta employee and now resident at Tafta’s Cambridge Gardens, says:
“Without Tafta, I don’t know what the sub-economic elderly people of Durban would have done over the years. Again and again, we were called on to come to the rescue of an elder. If a patient was ready to be discharged from Addington Hospital, and had no accommodation, Tafta would be called on to house them. If there were cases of abuse reported, we were again the first port of call; never, in my history of working in Tafta, have I known us to walk away.”
These and other Tafta residents feature in the association’s commemorative Coffee Table book – a 60 year review of our history in elder care. Get your copy of the book, which retails at R350, by emailing email@example.com or call her on 031 332 3721. Proceeds from the sale of the book will help support Tafta’s programmes and services.
Pictured above from left to right: Barbara Bannister, Hashim and Gloria Vawda and Senmathie Pillay.