Cape Jewish Seniors — new year with new beginnings

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West Coast members enjoy an art morning

Download the calendar here: cjsacalendarsep18web

We all know that it is very important to keep active. Whether you are only able to do chair exercises, or if you are one of those seniors who manage to regularly exercise at home, or the gym, movement gets you going and exercise to good music gets the endorphins going which is energising and makes one feel really good.

We have recently commenced Ageless Grace Exercises in Sea Point, and our Milnerton and Southern Suburbs members enjoy weekly classes too. The music is carefully chosen with each week’s theme encouraging as much movement as possible without being too strenuous. Exercise is good for both body and soul and everyone participating in these classes confirms this.

We will be show-casing our talented members arts and crafts at our Milnerton Branch early in October. Please diarise the date and visit our home where you will be able to view some excellent work, lovingly made by our members who surprise themselves with the outstanding quality they produce including those members who have never participated in art or craft projects before. We are so proud of the achievements and look forward to welcoming everyone to a special morning of viewing and enjoying a cup of tea afterwards in a friendly atmosphere.

Long Marriages — how to make them work.
Like couples at any stage of their relationship, long married couples can find themselves experiencing problems in their relationships. Most elderly couples are generally from the do-it-ourselves era who believed people shouldn’t air private matters and presumed that mental health professionals are really mental illness professionals and are very reluctant to seek counselling. Nowadays, therapy suggestions usually come from physicians, an adult child or grandchild or following media focus on a topic which has special relevance to them such as depression or the pitfalls of retirement.

Embarking on the journey through the unchartered waters of old age implies reflection, with the self as a mirror. The spouse is also a mirror and this is where a crisis may arise. One may look at the other and see the wrinkles, frown lines or pain and disappointment. Or, while looking after the partner after bypass surgery or a coronary, may reflect on “more years of caregiving” or, when will it be my turn, or my turn to care for myself?”

Roles need to be re-defined as significant events can be catalysts for interpersonal and work related role changes, such as retirement and the responsibility of parent care. There are emotional reactions to changes, or significant changes in how the couple gets along day by day. Remarkably often ‘little’ things cause more irritation and distress to couples than big events, such as weathering a significant medical crisis, with which they may be more adept at coping with.

As couples move into their older years they might tacitly realise that they have met all their lifelong goals for marriage and they might experience a kind of emptiness. Now what? Differences between spouses for new or reclaimed goals may precipitate serious marital discord which can be righted with therapy including mediation and compromise.

Redefining intimacy can also become a stumbling block as couples move into their older years. Intimacy is based on trust and authentic mutual disclosure which can be very difficult for some older people. This personal life review becomes a marital life review coming under new scrutiny from the vantage point of old age. Each partner is also aware of being the one that the other will always be closest to, and on whom each will need to rely. The focus of therapy is often on what sabotages intimacy caused by ridiculing, shaming, devaluing or denying the experiences of the other or by disallowing empathy. Therapy can be a guiding process which identifies destructive communication and providing an avenue for learning better communication
Perhaps, most important for a therapist working with older people, is to bring a couple to enhanced respect for, and validation of, the strength in their experience of themselves together. Coping strategies and ways of responding can serve to protect and support them through many challenges that ageing presents. The therapist can reflect back to shift the focus from limitations to strength — the key ones being who they have become, mutual interdependence, mutual regard and the history they have had together which can be self-affirming and is powerful.

An overarching dynamic of the long marriage is the conflict between constancy and change. Those married for a long time find themselves attempting to meet challenges in their relationships in response to each new situation of old age. Social workers are in a privileged position to support the courage and enable the continued success of older couples.

We hope that the High Holy Days will be meaningful for everyone and that you will be able to celebrate with those you love, enjoying special times , special foods and at the same time looking at ways in which to improve every aspect of our lives — spiritually and holistically. Please contact your social worker if you do not have anywhere to go for Rosh Hashanah or Yom Kippur and we will make every effort to assist you.

The Executive Committee and Staff of CJSA join me in wishing one and all a Happy and Healthy New Year and a meaningful and easy Fast.
Diana Sochen Executive Director

SOCIAL AND PERSONAL

Births
Janice Bloch — great grandson
Shirley Elvey — twin great grandson and granddaughter
Alison and Howard Katzeff — twin granddaughters,
Minnie Katzeff — twin great granddaughters
Selwyn and Andrea Schiff — granddaughter
Engagements
Anita Stoch — grandson
Marriage
Amanda Summerfeld — daughter
Royalton and Maureen Summerfeld — granddaughter
Birthdays
Phyllis Friedlander 90
Sadie Graziani
Bennie Rabinowitz
Sincere best wishes to our members who have not been well
Brian Mersky
Sincere condolences to our members who have lost family members:
Jane Arelisky — Sister-In-Law
Barbara Bernstein — Father
Zillah Kudo — Son
Sylvia Quinn — Husband
We welcome new members to the CJSA family:
Marcia Faktor, Jean Katz, Bobby Rabin, Alfred Saft

Special Events and Outings September — booking essential

Twilight Supper All suppers are R50
Chris Nissen Milnerton, Thursday 27 Sept 6.30
Representing the HRC and speaking on vulnerable groups and the rights of people to be protected

Outing to Pick n Pay Museum
Southern Suburbs — 3 September Milnerton — 4 September

Men’s Schmooze
Gerald Potash speaking on Jewish History and Boerejode
Milnerton — 7 September, Sea Point — 28 September

Darling Flower Show
14 September — R240
Booking essential through your branch. Numbers are limited

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