Ministry of Local Government (MLG)
Stand against ageism
14/11/16
Stand against ageism To celebrate, honor, show respect and appreciation to the efforts, dedication and submission of the elders who have raised today’s leaders, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development under the Department of Social Protection recently commemorated the International day of the Elderly in Hukuntsi, Kgalagadi District. As part of this celebration, the Ministry also raised awareness on issues and challenges of ageing in today’s world.

Stand against ageism

To celebrate, honor, show respect and appreciation to the efforts, dedication and submission of the elders who have raised today’s leaders, the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development under the Department of Social Protection recently commemorated the International day of the Elderly in Hukuntsi, Kgalagadi District. As part of this celebration, the Ministry also raised awareness on issues and challenges of ageing in today’s world.

When giving his speech, a concerned Kgalagadi District elder Nelson Montsho explained that as they grow old they become lonely and these years of aging as he explained, are the years he has realized that there is need to be prepared mentally for the loneliness. He added that they have a problem of leaving alone and not having a say in their children’s lives or how they raise their grandchildren and this leaves them with a lot of free time.

Mr. Montsho explained that some of the people who have been brought to the event as old people are not really old but have been made old by circumstances that could be easily avoided which include being exposed to sicknesses due to unhealthy living environments. He mentioned that in some cases the elderly are found dead in their houses due to hunger because they have no one to cook for them and also have no one to take them to hospitals for checkups or consultations.

He also revealed that some of the elderly have their children and relatives stealing from them whilst the old women are used for sexual pleasure by the youth who know they live alone hence exposing them to illnesses.

When giving her speech, the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Hon. Botlogile Tshireletso highlighted that this year’s theme is meant to challenge everyone to consider changing their negative and discriminative attitude on the ageing. She stated that to the old people, ageism is an everyday challenge as it causes them to be overlooked for employment, restricted from social services and stereotyped in the media hence putting them at risk of depression and social isolation.

She explained that elders who feel are a burden may also perceive their lives to be less valuable. Hon Tshireletso therefore encouraged that as a nation there is need to protect the elderly persons by providing them with money and education opportunities as well as establishing age-friendly public facilities such as affordable, reliable safe and physically accessible transportation to them. She then closed by advising the nation to give elders dignity, to treat them with respect as well as to show appreciation for what they have done for the country.

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