INTERNATIONAL DAY OF OLDER PERSONS
October 1st of each year is dedicated to highlighting the contributions that older people make to society. The International Day of Older Persons is also observed to bring awareness to the aging population.
Throughout history, older persons have played an essential role in society. They have been leaders, teachers, and caretakers. However, older persons are also very vulnerable. They often face discrimination, abuse, and poverty.
By 2030, the number of people over the age of 60 is expected to grow by 46%. This means there will be 1.4 billion people over the age of 60. Older persons will outnumber youth and children under the age of 10. Part of the reason for this is older people are living longer than ever. Since the year 2000, life expectancy has increased by 5.5 years. The current life expectancy is 70 years for males and 75 years for females.
The aging population has a significant impact on society. It also presents unprecedented challenges. One of the biggest challenges is healthcare. As people get older, their health tends to deteriorate. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the number of chronic diseases will increase. This includes cancer, dementia, obesity, and diabetes. There will also be an increase in the number of falls. Falling is the leading cause of injury among seniors. One other major challenge is a shortage of healthcare workers and caregivers.
Being aware of these challenges now will help to prepare for the future of the aging population. It will also help to ensure rights for the elderly are implemented. Despite the challenges, it’s important to remember the value that older persons add to societies.
HOW TO OBSERVE #InternationalDayOfOlderPersons
On the International Day of Older Persons, organizations that advocate for seniors promote the rights of the elderly. They also educate the public on the issues that older persons face. They encourage people to remember the contributions older persons make to society.
Do you have an elderly loved one in your life? Today is a great day to tell them how much you appreciate them. Other ways to observe the International Day of Older Persons include:
- Volunteer at a nursing home or senior center
- Give your grandparents a call
- Help an older adult in need
- Donate to a senior advocate group
- Think about the contributions you want to make to society as you get older
No matter what you do, be sure to share #DayOfOlderPersons on social media.
INTERNATIONAL DAY OF OLDER PERSONS HISTORY
In 1982 an initiative called the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing was adopted. The UN General Assembly eventually endorsed the initiative. In 1990, the UN took the initiative one step further and established the International Day of Older Persons. Past themes for International Day of Older Persons have included:
2019: The Journey to Age Equality
2018: Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions
2016: Taking a Stand Against Ageism
2014: Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All