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THE ROLE OF THE COMMUNITY IN TAKING CARE OF OLDER PERSONS

Older persons increasingly choose to stay within their community rather than living in a residential facility for older persons.  The question is however what is the obligation of the community to ensure that older persons can stay in the community despite the challenges of getting older.

Communities need to contribute to building a positive image of ageing, and need to recognize older people as an important resource for society. The aim needs to be on self-empowerment of older people and will encourage active ageing, strengthening their resilience and allowing them to remain autonomous. Promoting active ageing in important as it reduces the vulnerability of older people.

Free State Care in Action contributes by educating communities through awareness programmes and active ageing programmes.  Our service centre’s focus on improving the resilience of older persons. Active ageing programmes include socialization opportunities like tours and entertainment. Older persons receive education on handling the challenges of old age. Service centres provide food and basic health care to ensure the physical well-being of older persons living in the community.

Older persons need to be included in economic, social and cultural life and decision-making. Communities have to ensure the older persons have access to adequate services for older people, such as proper living and housing conditions, appropriate health and social care and nursing in accordance with human dignity and relevant standards.

Free State Care in Action provides a wide range of home-based care services to older persons within the community.  Social workers provide support and counselling while our community-based care programmes ensure access to health care and assistance with daily living activities.

Any mistreatment and abuse of older persons need to the eradicated. Communities are responsible to ensure the safety of older persons living in that community.  Free State Care in Action educates communities on preventing abuse and mistreatment of older persons as well as reporting incidents of abuse.

Free State Care in Action recruits and train volunteers to provide assistance and support to those most in need and their caregivers. Contact Free State Care in Action at 051-4446143 to access these services or to become a volunteer.