The Association for the Aged (Tafta) will commemorate the United Nation’s International Day of Older persons (UNIDOP) on 1 October 2020, with the launch of a month of activities embracing this year’s United Nations theme of “Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?”.
“With this year redefining the way we commemorate the contribution made by Older people because of social distancing measures imposed by the Coronavirus pandemic, we will not host any inter-home events, but rather focus on embracing the theme through its objectives of raising awareness of the special health needs of elders and the significance of a Decade of Healthy Ageing,” explained Tafta CEO Femada Shamam.
Shamam explained that numerous activities will take place in each of Tafta’s 13 homes, with weekly virtual sessions allowing some level of interaction between the homes. Activities include sporting events, dress-ups and socials.
With the President recently announcing the drop to Level-1 Lockdown, Shamam added that Tafta will also begin tentatively opening up the organisation to the outside world: “We are also happy to announce that we will open up our homes to visitation of close family members of elders in pre-designated areas within the home, by appointment only.”
Shamam said that while the organisation was free of any active cases, the five elders lost during the pandemic served as a constant reminder for the organisation to remain vigilant and protect its elders. “The past six months have been a period of loss, adjustment and fear. We hope to move forward into the rest of this year with a sentiment of hope and gratitude. In particular, we thank the care team for their dedication in addressing the needs of our elders at potential threat to their own wellbeing.”
For many of Tafta’s care team, this has meant sacrificing time with family to stay in during their two weekly shifts, and according to Shamam, an important part of this year’s UNIDOP commemorations is to increase an appreciation for the role of the health care workforce in maintaining and improving the health of older persons.
For members of the public wanting to commemorate the contribution made by older people this year, the organisation is selling commemorative Purple Hearts stickers to corporates and schools at R10 a sticker.
For more information on Tafta’s Week of Older Person’s commemoration activities and to purchase commemorative stickers for your school or company, contact email@example.com.