International Day For Older Persons 2020: We are in the "Decade of Healthy Ageing", according to the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO says, the "Decade of Healthy Ageing" - 2020-2030 - is an "opportunity to bring together governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media, and the private sector for ten years of concerted, catalytic and collaborative action to improve the lives of older people...". International Day of Older Persons is observed on October 1 every year. It is a United Nations designated day to focus on the well-being and special needs of the elderly people.
International Day For Older Persons 2020: History and significance
The UN General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons on December 14, 1990. Prior to that there were two key developments - the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing and the World Assembly on Ageing. The two initiatives led to the dedicated day for the elderly people.
Data from the World Population Prospects 2019 (revised) says, "...by 2050, one in six people in the world will be over age 65, up from one in 11 in 2019." For the first time in history, 2018 saw people aged 65 and above outnumber children under five globally.
International Day For Older Persons 2020: Theme
In the "Decade of Healthy Ageing" amid the pandemic the United Nations has a multi-pronged approach.
- "Raise awareness of the special health needs of older persons and of their contributions to their own health and to the functioning of the societies in which they live"
- "Increase awareness and appreciation of the role of the health care workforce in maintaining and improving the health of older persons, with special attention to the nursing profession"
- "Present proposals for reducing the health disparities between older persons in the developed and developing countries, so as to 'leave no one behind'".
- "Increase understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on older persons and its impact on health care policy, planning, and attitudes".
Senior citizens globally have been the worst-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic as experts have said. They are the most vulnerable with age-related comorbidities. In these unprecedented times, loneliness and mental health issues of the elderly people need special attention.
International Day For Older Persons 2020: How to celebrate the day
Elderly people in the family can get quite lonely even in a room full of people. Sometimes they can't hear properly or follow conversation. Show your loved elderly family member that you really care.
- Have a virtual party and help them meet relatives and friends staying in different cities
- Prepare their favourite food, play the kind of music they like and make them feel special
- You can see old photos together and encourage them to talk about interesting incidents in their life
Happy International Day For Older Persons!