Nature has a way of allowing us to grow old gracefully

Birthday Morning in Milnerton, Shirley Elvey, Freda Jacobs and Sarah Daitsch.

By Diana Sochen, Executive director CJSA

I am sure that it will be comforting to know that according to a study undertaken at the University of Tiibingen in Germany, it has been proven that older people’s brains do not deteriorate.

They simply become slower because they are so full of knowledge (of course there are exceptions). A 20-year-old might seem incredibly bright and be able to access facts almost instantaneously, but has actually accumulated very few facts in a short lifetime, so simply rifles through their relatively uncluttered mental filing cabinet to come up with an answer.

On the other hand, a 70-year-old has mental archives that have been accumulated over a lifetime, and stored away in compartments. Usually, this is why it takes a while to find the necessary folder in order to pull out the right information.  Mature citizens sometimes battle to remember a name or date and then, hours later, have the answer which has popped up without any warning after being there all the time, but tucked away in a specific folder for safekeeping — a little time was needed to retrieve it.

Next time you are in the company of an elderly person who is having a problem with recollection, don’t think of them as being batty with nothing worth knowing in their old grey head.  Rather think of the person as a vast encyclopedia of accumulated knowledge, and be awestruck.

Nature is wonderful in the way it compensates for the problems of ageing. When you get up to fetch something in another room only to stand there wondering what you are doing there and what you have come to collect, more often than not you can retrace your steps and after getting back to your starting point, remember what it was that you wanted. This is not forgetfulness – it’s nature’s way of making sure we do more walking and thus getting exercise. We are always meddling with nature’s clever designs.

Another compensation for ageing is having to wear spectacles. Have you ever thought that maybe nature intended us to have increasingly blurred vision as we grow older so we don’t notice the wrinkles on our partner’s face. However, when wearing glasses and reading in bed, what a shock to see the old person next to you.

We know that hearing deteriorates. Voices become more shrill, but with the hearing loss, that voice sounds the same as it always did, maybe just a bit softer. When we begin to use a hearing aid, we suddenly discover that soft, sweet voice which we always loved has turned into a piercing squeak.

“We must recognize that, as we grow older, we become like old cars — more and more repairs and replacements are necessary.” (C.S. Lewis)

We made the big move from our two houses in Bellevue Road to join the Union of Jewish Women in their beautiful home at 7 Albany Road, and begin a new chapter with our Sea Point Centre. The renovations are beautiful and we hope to be functioning optimally by the end of the month. It has been a huge project to condense two homes into one, and to sort through both our contents and what the UJW have in their home, to ensure that the best of everything is kept. We are currently discarding what is not needed, and look forward to working together and having some combined activities.

Members are showing interest in our planned Goudini Break which is scheduled for October. It is proving quite difficult to work on the costs, but we hope to finalise this very soon. Please ensure that you contact your social worker if you are at all interested in this experience.

Membership fees are due at the beginning of every year and we request that all members settle the amount with the social workers at their local branch. Membership 2023 is R275 which can be paid via EFT or at the branch. Your co-operation in this regard will be appreciated.

We are making the most of the glorious summer days and hope that the outings that we schedule are enjoyed. There is much to look forward to during the year ahead, so please make sure that you receive our weekly programme which is sent online or via Whatsapp. 

Most importantly, book for whatever interests you as soon as you receive the information; to avoid the disappointment finding out that you’ve responded too late, and that a function or outing is full.

Wishing one and all a Happy Purim — enjoy the reading of the Megillah and the delicious hamentachen and fun that go with this festival.

Diana Sochen
Executive Director

Social and Personal

We congratulate our members who have had joyous occasions during the last month.

Barmitzvah: Yvette Zive – Grandson
Engagement: Shirley Greenstein – Granddaughter
Marriage: Rabbi and Mrs Opert on the marriage of their son 
Yda Tollman – marriage of granddaughter

Welcome to new members: Doris Danilewitz, Freda Borughowitz, Lynn Stacey, Philip and Gillian Cohen, Avril Rappaport, Etti Mirlas,
Mrs M De Beer, Roslyn Rubenstein, Selma Chait

Well wishes to those who have been under the weather: Freda Tucker, Bennie Katzenberg, Shirley Levensohn, Anita Stoch

Our wishes of strength to members who have recently lost loved ones: 
Grace Smith on the passing of her brother, Michael Garvin
Fay Alpert on the passing of her husband Morris
Howard Katzeff on the passing of his wife, Alison

Cape Jewish Seniors Association
Director: Diana Sochen, 021 434 9691,
Admin: Amanda, 021 434 9691,
CJSA on Facebook

• Published in the March 2023 Digital Edition – Click here to start reading.

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