The elderly people this past Thursday were treated to a magnificent afternoon by Fincraft Investment Management at the Ave Maria Pastoral Centre.
Motivational speeches, music and ululations were the order of the day as the flowed freely through the three- floor conference centre to ensure the day’s theme, ‘Leaving no one behind: Promoting a society for all’ manifested. The day’s fully packed program included panel discussion; aimed at providing the overall insight on how to age gracefully. The panel covered topics like lifestyle adjustment at old age; spiritual insights of ageing, overall body wellness and the importance of keeping fit. The panelists were Dr. Doreen Ramogola Masire, Fr. Richard Rathari while Omphile Sehurutshe facilitated it. At the end of every round the audience were given the opportunity to comment and ask questions.
Issues like loneliness were observed as signs of adjustment deficiency to new out of employment life. The general agreement was that people should prepare for retirement while still at work. Ramogola Masire pointed out the fact that she has not witnessed loneliness in both her retired mother, grandmother and her in-laws as they proved to be busy people even after retirement.
“I do not know what is meant by loneliness. I have a farm, and at home in Tonota we have various community projects we are partaking in as pensioners. Agriculture is needed, not just agriculture, but commercial farming. We also have Mophato and this keeps us so busy” said Tlhabologo Mmolawa a retired civil servant in his late sixties. He said pensioners should refrain from becoming beggars by requesting for discounts and freebies in community services. He said they should avail themselves for engagement by civil servants whenever their experience is needed.
When Reverend Rupert Hambira reminded the gathering that elders are relegated to loneliness by the loss of partners, and that in the current situation occupants of that conference room were heartbroken by the loss of their young ones due to AIDS, heads shook in agreement.
That is how the spiritual insight discussion took off. Fr. Richard reminded the gathering that spirituality bonded the family and that it brought compassion. He picked a Biblical example of old man Simeon who after holding Jesus Christ in his arms prayed to God that He could let him rest now that he had seen freedom of the world in the baby Jesus.
“Many elderly people enjoy being caring grandparents. We witness these things during Church services on Sundays and when we visit homes. Grandparents accompany children at Church activities,” he said.
To the facilitator’s question seeking explanation as to whether society is doing enough in providing spiritual support, Fr. Richard responded in the positive.
“We bring the church to the bereaved home. We bring prayers and the consoling Word of God for days until the funeral,” he said. The gathering agreed and suggested that there be more provisions by the society, to ensure the family gets support beyond the day of the funeral.
Deon Moore of Physical Fitness Curves Gym guided the gathering through some basic gym steps before advising that exercising was the best lifestyle for all people.
Sikhulekile Gumbo of Kebo Beauty & Massage Spa explained that applying facials was for all sexes and not only for women. She advised the elderly that her business could help with reduction of facial wrinkles and provide products to upkeep the beauty.
Asked whether they could consider providing special services for the elderly, Gumbo said they are professional service providers. She said their clients book for services and there is no waiting area. So immediately when a client comes, s/he is attended to privately.
The guest speaker of the day, Elias Masilela, Executive Chairman of DNA Economics had prior to this highlighted that young people spend their lives being extremely busy following the money-not investing in the most important thing in their lives-families.
“The transfer of wisdom as we know it is lost in this rat-race. That is why the continuity to rich leadership and sound decision making is never guaranteed. Your role in the future of our economies is critical. Like insurance we may not fully appreciate this security until we have no opportunity to enjoy and draw on your wisdom,” he said to loud round of applause.