These golden oldies come to “crèche” every day, where they are cared for like kiddies, complete with snack time, play time and nap time.
Just like a crèche, Nosipho Peter-Mabandla, 56, has a daily timetable for her 37 “students” which includes exercises and learning new skills.
The Langa mom has been running her daycare for pensioners for years – all out of her own pocket, and through generous donations from her community.
She started the Masibambane Sibuyise Isidima Setu Daycare Centre five years ago, after seeing how the elderly were being neglected.
“I saw a need because we have situations where the older person is left alone at home while their children work, and at some homes there are no children [they live alone],” she says.
“I thought to myself, like our children are being cared for at crèche, our senior citizens need to be cared at a daycare.”
Today Nosipho looks after pensioners between the ages of 60 and 83.
She makes sure they are fed, have social interaction and take their medication, but stops short of changing nappies, she laughs.
The daycare opens at 10am, and everyone leaves at 4pm.
It is located at the South African Red Cross Society building, which charges Nosipho rent.
This is the only reason why she asks her students to pay a monthly fee of R50, she says.
Nosipho, who is married with four children, says society as a whole needs to look after the elderly.
“They sacrificed for our families and the country, and the government forgets them with a R1 500 every month.”
But her good Samaritan work takes a lot of hard work and money.
She began selling food along the road to make ends meet.
“I would buy chicken feet and sell it and I started buying rice and chicken livers.
“Today, I have a tax number but we receive no help from government.”
She says routine is important at the daycare, and breakfast, lunch, exercises, games and arts and crafts to keep the fingers and mind nimble, are all done according to schedule.
In between, they take their medisyne, which is carefully measured.
The oldest “student”, Alfred Adams, 83, is a keen pupil who loves the aerobics.
“If there wasn’t a place like this I would be sitting at home,” he says.
“I have no hearing aid and I cannot see in my left eye.”
Father Mike Williams of the Anglican Catholic Church, who works in the community, regularly brings a pot of soup, bread and meat for the daycare.
“I think this is fantastic because older persons are being helped and treated with respect,” he says.
If you’d like to help Nosipho, contact her on 083 370 5929.