MOSSEL BAY NEWS - Mossel Bay Older Persons Forum (MBOPF), an initiative of the Mossel Bay Municipality (Community Serices), is the collective voice for the elderly persons (60+) of Mossel Bay, working together with the Western Cape Older Person’s Forum (WCOPF) and the Department of Social Development DSD).
MBOPF sub-committees have been established in the communities of each municipal ward, to encourage the older persons and senior clubs to care for each other, to be each other’s eyes, ears, hands, and feet, and to be active in the affairs and concerns of the community
Also a vital entity of the MBOPF are the service centres and the residents and staff of the residential centres ably supported by Marlize Kotze from the Department of Social Development (DSD).
"The national state of disaster and resulting lockdown in 2020 came with challenges for older persons," says the MBOPF, Gregory Mitchell.
"For those in the residential centres and old age homes, loneliness together with restricted movement was not easy. In these centres, the impact of those who were affected by Covid-19 and those who passed away was the cause of emotional strain for many."
With the ease of regulations for lockdown level 1 and the necessary protocol requirements, these centres begun with activities, which include reaching out to others.
"The service centres are involved with soup kitchens, ensuring food security within their communities," Mitchell explains.
Some of the older persons living in the community, had to deal with their children and their families moving into their already compact homes, as a result of unemployment. "This brought a challenge of food security and the strain on the costs of utilities, many having to depend on only their SASSA payout."
Lockdown Level 1, allowing the older persons to gather, has enabled the MBOPF to visit a few communities.
"We experienced a good attendance and a renewed interest and expectation. This has given the MBOPF opportunity to gain an understanding of the effect that this season has had on our communities, especially the elderly.
"We want older persons to be able to their exercise their rights to freedom of expression and association as well as their right to community life and to serve, and the right of access to education and training programs, as well as their right to cultural, spiritual and recreational facilities. We are so thankful for concerned members of the community, churches and organisations who have been involved alleviating the plight of many," concludes Mitchell
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