More Living – Active Age

Partners in Sweden are Kalmar municipality, Mörbylånga municipality, Kalmar läns museum and Kalmar Regional Council, in South Africa Cape Winelands District Municipality (CWDM), Bridiging Ages Western Cape and nine service centers/ elderly homes.

”Cape Winelands District Municipality has an agreement with the Kalmar Regional County in Sweden to implement a More Living – Active Age project as a pilot. Nine Service Centers from the Cape Winelands are part of this pilot project together with the Swedish. The first day of the visit the South African delegation visited Kalmar läns Museum and had a seminar on Elderly care and heritage. Cape Winelands District municipality presented a progress report on the more living project in South Africa. Kalmar and Morbylånga municipalities also presented their progress on the side of Sweden.

The following two days we visited elderly homes and service centres in Kalmar and Mörbylånga municipalities. There were prepared programs and presentation of the centres and music.

We took part in a Time Travel to the turn of century 1900 with grade 8 learners in Monsterås, north of Kalmar. A seminar was also organised on the Elderly care and heritage. We South Africans presented our contributions on the elderly care in the entire district. Kalmar and Mörbylånga municipalities, Kalmar County museum, Kalmar regional Council and Linnaeus University also made presentations on the topic. We ended the visit with strategic discussions on the subject and way forward.” Goodman Xawuka Cape Winelands District Municipality

“What a great privilege and honor it was for us from South-Africa,. Maria Baartman & Cheronica du Preez – Springroses Service Centre for the Elderly, Montagu; Goodman Xawuka – CWDM & Louis Marais – Bridging Ages Coordinator, to be part of the More Living – Active Age delegation that visited Kalmar, Sweden. We visited many old age homes and meeting points, that we call Service Centres for the elderly in South-Africa and through this visit we recognized many similarities between Sweden and South-Africa in this regard. One such an example is that the elderly in both countries have similar needs. They need to be active and part of a social group where they can interact with their peers for mental, physical and even emotional stimulation.

Differences though were also experienced. In South-Africa Service Centres were established predominantly in the rural disadvantaged communities to keep the elderly active in the community for as long as possible. Government subsidizes only the frail care elderly fully that live in old age homes, but not the mobile elderly. In order though for the mobile elderly to also benefit from government aid, a starting point was to subsidize Service Centres so that the illiterate elderly can learn how to read and write. From there they also get something to eat, as many of them are impoverished with very little to eat. In Sweden however, the elderly are more likely to engage socially and work together on arts and crafts.  

We got new ideas that are inexpensive from the wonderful programs Kalmar has implemented in a previous project on elderly care and heritage.

Another highlight was the talk by Professor Christen Erlingsson at the seminar that showed us the difference that can be made when we engage the academic sector for support, since she is an expert on the health care of elderly persons. We learned that we need to concentrate on the basic things such as taking very good care of the health of the elderly. Lastly we want to thank our hosts for the week, Kalmar läns museum, Kalmar and Mörbylånga municipalities and we trust that all the partners in the More Living – Active Age program will join hands and make a huge success of it so that it can become a model for many other countries in the world.”

Cheronica du PreezSpring Roses Service Center for the Elderly, Montagu