Raise your hand if you have heard of The International Day of Older Persons – observed on October 1 each year. Anyone? On December 14, 1990 the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons, and is now celebrating their 27th year. We are missing out in neglecting to focus on this growing phenomenon. Check out my video message to learn why.
It is important to understand why focusing on the needs of people over age 60 is so important: between 2015 and 2030, the number of older persons worldwide is set to increase by 56 per cent — from 901 million to more than 1.4 billion. By 2030, the number of people aged 60 and above will exceed that of young people aged 15 to 24.
Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20 per cent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older. The increase in the number of older people will be the greatest and the most rapid in the developing world, with Asia as the region with the largest number of older persons, and Africa facing the largest proportionate growth.
According to the UN:
“Ageism is a widely prevalent and prejudicial attitude that stems from the assumption that age discrimination, and sometimes neglect and abuse of older persons is a social norm and therefore, acceptable. It is a reality in some form in all societies, and finds expression in individuals’ attitudes, institutional and policy practices, as well as media representation that devalue and exclude older persons.
“Such discrimination shapes how older persons are treated and perceived by their societies, including in medical settings and workplaces, creating environments that limit older persons’ potential and impact their health and well-being. The failure to tackle ageism undermines older persons’ rights and hinders their contributions to social, economic, cultural and political life.”
This month I will be focusing on the efforts of the United Nations, ground breaking aging innovations around the world and more. Stay tuned!
Who is an older person who has affected your life that could use some recognition? We would love to hear your stories in the comments below and on our Facebook page.