College of Human Sciences

Unisa cares for the elderly

The CA600 team from the Department of Health Studies in the College of Human Sciences recently visited the Centurion Care for the Aged in Olievenhoutbosch as part of their engaged scholarship key performance area mandate.

The CA600 team engaging with the elderly at Centurion Care for the Aged

From left: Prof Theresa Mokoboto-Zwane, Prof Debbie Habedi, Dr Naomi Nkoane and Dr Thinavhuyo Netangaheni

The CA600-Unisa Care for the Older Persons team, comprises four academics: Prof Theresa Mokoboto-Zwane, Prof Debbie Habedi, Dr Naomi Nkoane and Dr Thinavhuyo Netangaheni. Mokoboto-Zwane said the purpose of visiting the centre was to promote the mental health status of the elderly, especially post the Covid-19 pandemic. "Academics realised the importance of developing healthy mental and emotional habits, attitudes and behaviours as priorities to prevent mental ill-health among the elderly," she added.

Mokoboto-Zwane shared her research on Preserving mental health through resilience post the Covid-19 pandemic. The session was interactive, with the elderly sharing their lived experiences. The purpose of the exercise was to highlight the strength and resilience that they possess within.

After sharing with them the five universal warning signs of mental ill-health, Mokoboto-Zwane provided the elderly with tools for preserving their mental health status. She advised them to avoid withdrawing from society and socialising. "Consulting with a nurse or social workers at local clinics, getting adequate rest or sleep and eating well is imperative," added Mokoboto-Zwane.

The visit's main priority was ensuring that the elderly understand the importance of preventing future development of mental health problems.

* By Nnana Jege, Communication and Marketing Specialist, College of Human Sciences & Prof Theresa Mokoboto-Zwane, Department of Health Studies

Publish date: 2022/09/29