Women's history is our country's history — and world history. Therefore, as South Africa commemorates Women's Month in August, I would also like to celebrate the achievements, contributions, and progress of women and girls in South Africa and around the globe.
In our nation, as in all nations, women have fought for justice, shattered barriers, built and sustained economies, carried communities through times of crisis, and served with dignity and resolve. Yet, they have often done so while being denied the freedom, full participation, and equal opportunity all women are due. As a result, their contributions have been downplayed. As a result, their stories have been neglected.
At Fleurenville, we firmly believe in gender equality, and we are proud to say that the majority of our employees are female – in every department and at all levels.
That is why during Women's Month at Fleurenville, I would like to extend a special thank you to all our brilliant staff (men included), who are helping to create a more gender-inclusive world in their respective works. I also wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate all the older women in our society. It's crucial to remember that the person you see today has a lifetime of lived experiences behind them, and it's time to acknowledge that. While societal representation is crucial – tangible support mechanisms such as supportive care can help older women live with greater self-determination and remember the importance of purpose.
Many people have made their dreams come true later in life, and fortunately, age has got nothing to do with one's ability to achieve. Setting and achieving goals is key to maintaining a sense of purpose. Colonel Sanders was 65 years old when he started Kentucky Fried Chicken. A milkshake salesman, Ray Kroc, started McDonald's in 1954 at age 52.
At Fleurenville, we know that setting goals and achieving dreams feels good at any age. It develops confidence, creates a sense of accomplishment, and instills purpose. Goals can be social, personal, spiritual, mental, or physical. When setting goals, they should be realistic, positive, and specific.
We pride ourselves on promoting active lifestyles for our residents. We provide opportunities to our residents to learn, try and do new things and achieve their dreams – no matter how small or how big. As new residents move to Fleurenville, we ask them to complete a
comprehensive survey regarding their interests to better understand the types of experiences they would like to enjoy.
Some think that as people age, they lose their youthful physical abilities along with the drive to achieve dreams and pursue their hobbies. But this is not the case. Older adults still have goals and dreams they would like to fulfill. Promoting active aging is about improving the body's strength, remaining mentally engaged and challenged, staying socially active, and retaining a sense of purpose.
Maintaining independence is another aspect of preserving a sense of purpose. I believe in encouraging residents to make their own decisions and daily schedules. We familiarise ourselves with their interests and strengths to create opportunities to participate.
Sometimes it's the everyday events that help keep us grounded. As a person ages, the simple task of accompanying a friend to the beauty salon, for instance, becomes a comfortable way to maintain a sense of normalcy. Likewise, making crafts, learning a new skill, and caring for plants are all examples of activities that can help maintain a sense of purpose.
No matter how big or small a dream may be, there is an opportunity to achieve it. We must never forget that the barrier of age does not bind the ordinary and extraordinary among us.
Fleurenville Aged Care