International Day of Older Persons stresses the need for age equality amid rapidly ageing global population
The 1st October 2019 marks the United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Older Persons, with organisations across the world highlighting the importance of age equality and the need to stamp out age discrimination.
Raising awareness of the opportunities and challenges of ageing in today’s world, the International Day of Older Persons aims to help lead the journey to end older age inequalities and change negative stereotypes involving old age.
This year’s “The Journey to Age Equality” theme champions the need to empower and promote older people’s active participation in social, economic and political life as a way to ensure inclusiveness and reduce inequalities.
Aiming to reduce age inequality and eliminate discrimination globally, the international awareness day comes as the number of people aged 60 and over is projected to skyrocket from 962 million to 1.4 billion globally by 2030.
The UN forecasts that the number of persons aged 60 years or over will outnumber youth and children under 10 over the coming decades, with the developing world seeing the most rapid growth in older people.
Suggesting that population ageing is set to become one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century, the UN emphasises that older people are highly vulnerable and at high risk of falling into poverty, becoming disabled and facing discrimination.
UK local leaders commit to tackling age discrimination
In the UK, 30 local leaders from across the country have signed an open letter committing them to address ageism and changing the narrative when talking about old age.
Co-ordinated by the Centre for Ageing Better and the UK Network of Age-friendly Communities, the letter reinforces the signatories pledge to work to change perceptions relating to older age, with research suggesting the growing older is still strongly associated with fragility, loneliness and sadness.
“Many of us are living longer. While some of us can look forward with confidence to enjoying later life, others are being held back by outdated and damaging attitudes,” commented Anna Dixon, Chief Executive of the Centre for Ageing Better.
“Negative stereotypes about older age can have a pernicious effect on our self-perception, limit our ideas of what we can do as we get older and stop us making the most of these extra years.
“It is great to see so many influential leaders who are committed to making their communities more age-friendly, now collectively affirming their commitment to talk more positively about later life. We hope everyone will join us to end ageism.”
WHO launches new app to improve care for older people
Also coinciding with the International Day of Older Persons, the World Health Organization (WHO) has unveiled it is launching a new package of tools, including a digital application, to help health and social workers provide better care for older people.
Providing guidance to address priority conditions including mobility limitations, vision and hearing loss, cognitive decline and social care, the WHO ICOPE App will be used in conjunction with a new handbook and other tools to accelerate health and social workers’ training for better addressing the needs of older people.
Dr Anshu Banerjee, Director of the Department of maternal, new-born, child and adolescent health and ageing at WHO, commented: “It is essential that services for older people are included in universal health care packages.
“At the same time, there needs to be good coordination between the health and social services to provide optimal care when needed. The new package of tools supports healthy ageing with a person-centred and coordinated model of care.”https://thiis.co.uk/international-day-of-older-persons-stresses-need-for-age-equality-amid-rapidly-ageing-global-population/https://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/happy-older-people-International-Day-of-Older-Persons.jpghttps://thiis.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/happy-older-people-International-Day-of-Older-Persons-150x150.jpgNewsroomReports & ResearchThird Sectorage discrimination,age equality,ageing population,Centre for Ageing Better,digital app,global population,Internal Day for Older Persons,open letter,united nations,world health organisationThe 1st October 2019 marks the United Nations’ (UN) International Day of Older Persons, with organisations across the world highlighting the importance of age equality and the need to stamp out age discrimination. Raising awareness of the opportunities and challenges of ageing in today’s world, the International Day of Older...Calvin BarnettCalvin Barnettcalvin@thiis.co.ukAdministratorTHIIS Magazine