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Today, the Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, co-hosted the Senior Citizens’ Capacity Building event together with ward 48 at the Dulcie September Hall in Athlone. Please see photos attached.

Minister Fritz said, “In the Western Cape, there are approximately 520 000 people over the age of 60. This is a large population of people, and recent research indicates that this number is set to grow, as more and more people are living longer. In fact, it is believed that the first person who will live to 200 years old has already been born!”

“While the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD) manages Old Age Homes (OAHs); the Department of Health supports the elderly by providing medication, physical rehabilitation, assistive devices such as wheelchairs and other health needs. In addition, the Western Cape DSD ensures that each meal served at elderly homes is nutritious and enjoyable. However, this is just a small snippet of how this caring government’s vision for the elderly comes into fruition,” said Minister Fritz.

Minister Fritz further added, “The WC DSD understands that in your golden years, your body is not as strong as it once was. For this reason, we fund 119 frail care facilities throughout the Province and we work tirelessly to ensure that the minimum norms and standards are monitored. In fact, we speedily and readily perform oversight over any facility which is reportedly contradicting these norms and standards. This Department is moving away from placing older persons in residential facilities, which can be alienating, and instead are focussing on providing the sort of support and social infrastructure that keeps elderly residents in their homes and with their families for as long as possible.”

The Western Cape Department of Social Development has allocated R245 million to implement the Older Persons Act and promote Active Ageing services. Funding goes to 355 NGOs rendering support services, residential and assisted living facilities to the elderly. Key services include the provision of frail care facilities, and specialised services, such as Alzheimer’s/Dementia care services – and the investigation of the abuse of elders. Funding further supports various Seniors Clubs, which provide safe spaces for elderly residents to meet, interact and enjoy social activities.

Under the leadership of MEC Fritz, the Western Cape Department of Social Development will continue to provide services to those most vulnerable in the province.

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