The Association for the Aged (Tafta) is urging the South African government to deliver on the provisions set out in the Older Person’s Act through the delivery of supportive services that enable elders to continue living in their own homes.
The aged care association, which is home to nearly 2000 elders in Tafta homes in Durban, says the sheer demand for care services by the ageing population remains a concern for the Association.
“Throughout Tafta’s 60 year history, we have reached out to those members of the community within our areas of operation in need of our services through outreach programmes such as Meals on Wheels and Home Based Care. We realise the growing need in communities as we attempt to extend our footprint into areas we haven’t been able to reach in the past and we are working closely with government and other key stakeholders to explore funding possibilities to bring elder care into more communities seeking out these needs,” says Tafta CEO Femada Shamam.
Shamam added that recent research indicates that in the next 10 years, the number of people over age 60 will surpass one billion, making the case for governments, advocacy groups and non-profit organisations to come together to seek out workable solutions to care for the Aged within the community, and more significantly, in their homes for as long as possible.
“As an elder care organisation, we’re aware of the challenges these arrangements come with, like the very real threat of elder abuse stemming from frustrations associated with caring for elders. But, we believe that with the proper support systems, it is possible to have an elder in the home environment who is well cared for with little or no risk to themselves and other members of the home.”
To bring awareness to elder rights issues, Tafta will host an Elder Rights awareness walk in central Durban on 14 June this year followed by a dialogue session on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on 15 June, the day set aside by the Unites Nations internationally to discuss the rights of elders.
“Elder abuse is a global social issue and a very real one in South Africa. We hope the dialogue sessions we host on this day will provide the necessary stakeholders with the impetus required to give elder rights the attention it so rightly requires,” said Shamam.