We have a week-long programme of events planned to mark the United Nations’ International Day of Older Persons (1 October).
This annual event honours and celebrates elders throughout the world and we want our residents to feel revered and recognised for their contributions to the community.
Some of the highlights include a variety concert, sports event, Spring Ball, picnics, tea and pamper parties and other outings sponsored by some of our long standing benefactors.
This year’s United Nations theme for International Day of Older Persons; “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society,” is also the perfect opportunity to showcase our philosophy of active ageing.
At 82-years-old, Tafta resident, Hester Bekker, is proof that age is just a number.
The energetic and vibrant grandmother has proudly completed more than one hundred race events, including the ultimate human race – the Comrades Marathon – at age 65.
Young at heart Bekker is still going strong. Part of her daily routine includes a brisk 10km walk at 5:30am along Durban’s promenade.
“I love being active. This is what keeps me happy and alert,” she says.
“The more I run and walk, the more I love my body. Not because it’s perfect, actually far from it. But because with every mile, it’s proving to me that I am capable of more than I ever thought possible.”
Bekker turned to an active lifestyle after she was warned by her doctor that she would not live long.
“I had heart failure, high blood pressure and high cholesterol when I was 60-years-old. I was a ticking time bomb. That was when I decided to take control of my life,” she says.
She recalls joining a sports and athletics club where she found great joy in road running. She then participated in several races and was placed among the top three competitors.
“The Comrades Marathon was a huge challenge for me but I managed to finish the race in eleven hours and achieve my biggest goal.
“I am so humbled by the many young people who tell me that I have been such an inspiration to them and hope to follow in my footsteps at my age. This inspires me all the more to do well.”
Tafta CEO, Femada Shamam applauded Bekker’s efforts saying she was a fantastic role model to all Tafta residents.
“We salute Hester on her sterling achievements. She epitomises Tafta’s philosophy to inspire active ageing and we support her through her future race goals,” said Shamam.
For those runners aspiring to remain active into the future like Hester, there is an opportunity to participate in our upcoming Trail Run event, taking place on 19 November at the Virginia Bush Nature reserve.
Pictured above: 82-year-old Tafta resident, Hester Bekker, shows off her collection of medals won over the years.