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Elderly persons in Nyeri usher New Year in style

Purity Elderly Care Foundation Director, Joyce Kairu, serving elderly persons cakes during the end of year party held in their honor Monday.

New Year celebrations came early for hundreds of elderly persons in Nyeri County after they were Monday treated to a luncheon by a local charitable organisation.
The annual event organised by Purity Elderly Care Foundation brings together senior citizens from various parts of the county where they get a rare chance of sharing a meal, mingling and dancing to their favourite old tunes.
Besides entertainment and eating accompanied by some takeaway goodies, the senior citizens also get a chance for a free medical checkup where they are tested for ailments such as hypertension and diabetes and taught on how to lead a healthy lifestyle.
The organization’s Director, Joyce Kairu, speaking during the function held at the Nyeri Health Centre, called on the society and the government to help elderly people live a dignified life by offering them all the support they can to make their sunset years worthwhile.
She highlighted diseases, poverty, neglect and loneliness as the main challenges that the senior citizens go through.
“Let us all join hands in celebrating the lives of our elderly people by doing the little we can to put a smile on their faces,” said Kairu.
She said it was unfortunate to see the society neglect her elders and challenged children to look after their aged parents when they are still alive and not just celebrate them at the time of death like has been the norm.
“Let us learn to take care and treat our parents well when they are alive not forgetting that we are also aging and at one point we will also become vulnerable and require support from others,” Ms. Kairu said.
Some of the elders who spoke during the celebrations expressed their appreciation for the gesture, saying it went a long way in lifting their spirits and gave them a reason to celebrate the festive season just like other Kenyans.
An elated Nancy Wanjiku welcomed the gesture and called on the government and all people of good will to follow the example set by the foundation of remembering their elders.
Samuel Nderitu said many of them were living in abject poverty despite having participated in the Mau Mau freedom struggle to liberate the nation from the colonial yoke.
He said many of them were living as squatters despite their sacrifice and called on the government to consider their plight by settling them as well as compensate them accordingly.
75-year-old Sammy Boy Kigera lamented that many of them were suffering neglect from children who upon leaving home in search of employment opportunities never look back or think about how to accord them necessary support.
This was the eighth end of year party organised by the foundation for the senior citizens, which the founder said was meant to give them hope and make them feel appreciated.
By Samuel Waititu/ Reginah Kinogu

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