Athlone senior citizens pampered

Grace October, 64, from Kewton had her hair done by Lameez Daniels.

The Women in Rental Stock team treated 20 senior citizens from Athlone to a day of pampering last Thursday, Friday June 15.

The women are part of the City’s Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

The elderly enjoyed getting their hair done, facials, a make-up tutorial and they had their nails cut and buffed and their feet massaged.

The Pink Ladies organisation was also present to inform women about health issues such as breast cancer and pap smears.

Rushda Hassen, from the Women in Rental Stock, said the aim was to pamper all the elderly who did not get a chance to leave the house and treat themselves.

“We selected the elderly who we know need a break away from their normal day-to-day routines.

“We wanted them to get out for just a day and forget about all their problems and let us see to them,” she said.

Joyce Johnson, 58, from Bokmakierie, said she had enjoyed the day. “This makes me feel so relaxed, I don’t even want to go home, I want to stay here because I am enjoying myself,” she said.

Mariam Cox, 77, from Kewtown, said she had enjoyed the massage the most.

“I just want everyone to enjoy themselves because we don’t get this everyday,” she said.

Grace October said that it was important for the youth to take care of the elderly.

“I feel very happy today and feel privileged that someone is doing my hair and taking care of me today,” she said.

Ward 49 councillor Rashid Adams said the elderly often neglected themselves.

He said many people could not afford to look after themselves and some dhad no one to look out for their well being.

“It is very important to look after your health, especially when you get older, as you become vulnerable to so many things because your body becomes weaker.”

He said the programme to help senior citizens would continue.

“These women have the drive to do a lot more than they are currently busy with, so they would love to assist. We’ve started an initiative where all the senior groups in the area are listed with us so that we know who we have in our area.”

Mr Adams said the elderly had a wealth of knowledge but there was nothing for them to do.

“We want to transfer that into something more positive and allow them to become more active in our communities. There is huge disrespect between our youth and our seniors because of the huge gap between them, and we have to bridge that gap by bringing them closer to each other.

“All of us will get there one day, so let us prepare the youth for that. The fine line in community development is cooperation, and that’s how we develop communities when there is an understanding and commonality in our community.”