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International Day of Older Persons


Seniors are important to our society, sometimes they are caretakers, while the other times they are leaders, and many times custodians of tradition. To honor older adults for their contribution to society, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) made a great move.

The October 1 each year is celebrated as the International Day of Older Persons. The United Nations (UN) declared this first time in 1991.

What is the theme of the International Day of Older Persons 2019?

Along with honoring the seniors, this day is also celebrated to raise awareness about the issues that affect them, like elder abuse and senescence. This day is similar to the Nation Grandparents Day celebrated in the US and Canada.

“The Journey to Age Equality” is the theme of the 2019 International Day of Older Persons. It is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 10 (SDG 10) to reduce inequalities among seniors. This includes measures for eliminating discrimination and empower the active participation of elders in political, economic, and social lives. The inclusion is irrespective of gender, age, disability, origin, race, ethnicity, economic, religion, etc.

The theme aims to:

  • draw awareness about the old age inequalities.
  • explore structural and societal changes to bring social protection for the elders.
  • change negative stereotypes and narrative involving “old age”.

International Day of Older Persons Activities

On this special day, people spend time with their grandparents. They also visit NGOs and old age homes to help, cook, and bake for the golden-agers. The kids cheer up their grandparents with greeting cards and gifts for seniors.

At this time, politicians and officials also make speeches focusing on the growing population of older adults. Media also takes the opportunity to publish interviews with seniors who had laid a significant impact on society. Offices, public institutions, and schools announce activities promoting senior citizens.

You can also see intergenerational trends and cooperation activities focusing on environment, education, health, or community services at this time of the year.

Role of the World Health Organization

World Health Organization (WHO) actively spreads public awareness regarding this day. The organization celebrates the day by holding discussions regarding the aging population. They also provide ample health provisions, volunteer work, senior living, and socialization. Discussions are also centered on different ways to make the workplace more inclusive of older people.

In fact, the WHO logo also promotes the International Day of Older Persons. The white color on the mid-blue ground presents a stereographic projection of earth centering on the North Pole under the serpent coiled around a staff. This projection symbolizes the organization’s global nature, while the serpent and staff represent medical help and knowledge.

Images of seniors from different regions and races worldwide have been featured in UN promotional tools for the International Day of Older Persons.

Who is on Ageing Population?

People worldwide are living longer because of increased awareness and youngsters’ involvement in promoting the lifestyle of older adults. Currently, there are 700 million people aged 60, and the number will is expected to reach two billion by 2050.

Considering the rising number, days like International Day of Older Persons play a crucial role in spreading awareness. They help to increase attention towards the problems that our seniors deal with.

This day encourages the young population to stand against ageism and promote society’s development by providing hospitality to people of all ages.

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