In light of International Day for the Elderly which was celebrated earlier this month, the Active Ageing Programme in partnership with the Department of Social Development, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and National Development Agency helps the elderly remain fit and encourages them to exercise in order to keep chronic diseases at bay.
The programme was part of the Department of Social Development’s basket of services and interventions to address a variety of challenges faced by older persons in Matjhabeng Local Municipality. Its goal is to improve the quality of life of older persons, promote independence and participation in various social, cultural and sporting initiatives that seek to prevent and reduce old-age related diseases.
Mbuyiselo Sijako from Thabong in the Free State said, after participating in the Active Ageing Programme he sometimes walks about 10 kilometres to his nearest town just to keep fit because he is no longer consistent with exercising as he was before.
“Growing up, I was a rugby player and an athlete, but due to ageing, I had to stop. I can no longer run. I walk a lot and that keeps me active and it minimises my chances of getting sick,” said Sijako, who stays with his wife and two grandchildren.
He encouraged other older persons to always make time to do simple in-house exercises in order to improve their health and well-being.“Older people do not have much to do and they are always sending children everywhere to do things for them. This makes their muscles weak, so I really encourage them to exercise and stretch their muscles,” he concluded.