International Day of Older Persons 2020
An eventful day for the older population – October 1st is celebrated as the ‘International Day of Older Persons’. Many countries celebrate this day as a holiday for families to spend time with their older members and bond well with them. The US, Canada and many more countries of North America celebrate this day on similar lines of National Day for Grandparents. In Japan, this day is observed on the same lines as “Respect for the Aged day”.
The focus is on giving importance and celebrating the sacrifices and contributions that our older generation has made for us. It’s a day dedicated to the older generation to hold hands, share light moments and enjoy life in their sunset years. This article describes the history of ‘International Day of Older persons 2020’, the importance of this day, its various themes, celebrations, FAQs and many more interesting facts. Let’s explore all this below.
International Day for Older Persons – History
A resolution was passed by the UN General Assembly on December 14th 1990 and declared October 1st as ‘International Day for older persons’. In the background, this resolution came as a standing action on Vienna International Action Plan for the aged populations.
As early as 1982, work began during ongoing sessions in the World Assembly for a basic plan to adopt special initiatives to the elder communities. Worldwide, this day began to be celebrated from October 1st, 1991. Many principles were set up in favour of older persons by the UN General Assembly in the same year.
Going ahead, with further inclusions the UN General Assembly openly accepted the Madrid International Action Plan. This feature comes as an analogy to the already adopted features. The focus on later years of plan execution stressed on the many challenges and oppositions confronted by elders. These issues were pinned against time, and every opportunity of suffering was questioned with relevance to present times. After extensive studies, conclusions were drawn for a holistic society that provides a safe habitat for all age-groups to co-exist and live in harmony with each other.
Significance of International Day of Older Persons
The contributions of our older generations should inspire the next generations. Usually, older citizens tend to get neglected in families from the younger generations. IT could be due to work pressure, limited family time, the concept of nuclear families, etc., but older citizens need more time and care from their offspring.
Discrimination on the grounds of age is strictly prohibited under our constitution. The welfare department for senior citizens ensures the safety and well being of people aged above 60. There are many laws enforced in favour of senior citizen welfare. The older generation forms a significant chunk of the population, and it is expected to double by 2050 to increased life expectancy rate.
Some of the common challenges faced by older generations include nutritional deficiencies, low access to timely medical care, exhaustion of savings and money, lack of physical well being, poor health and very little awareness on how to reach out for help. So to bring out all these issues to the fore, a particular day is needed to celebrate them, their achievements and contributions. Hence we celebrate International Day for older persons with much enthusiasm every year.
International Day of Older Persons 2020 Themes
Now let us discuss some common themes set aside in previous years to celebrate the day in a much grander manner:
- The theme for the year 2017 was “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the talents, contributions and participation of older persons in society”. This theme focussed on celebrating the achievements of older generations in society.
- 2018 marked the day with more grandeur. The theme was “Celebrating older human rights champions”.
- 2019 came closer to implementation of the 2018 theme. IT titled as “The journey to age equality”, a promising theme for the older generation.
- The theme of the 2020 commemoration is “Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?”.
International Day of Older Persons 2020 Celebration
The central authority of every country has a separate department catering to the needs of senior citizens. The welfare of senior citizens is their primary objective, and they function in a manner conducive to their well being.
The print media plays a very significant role in highlighting the prominent celebrations of the day. The older generation still loves to read newspapers and magazines, unlike the younger generation that takes has become electronic in all ways.
Television is another medium of broadcasting entertaining programs exclusively for the older generation to make their day! Several press conferences are held wherein interviews of older citizens are conducted. Through these talks, inspiration is drawn about their struggles, achievements and the challenges they face in their ripe old years.
Schools, colleges and educational institutions invite grandparents of their students and entertain them with their kid’s talents. Songs and dances dedicated to the older circles are performed as a dedication to their achievements. Most importantly, the health and well being of elders is of primary concern to most institutions volunteering for the cause of their empowerment.
Community activities by and large are very popular with the older generation. This is because elders love to spend their time in groups, they like people and interact more when in a big crowd. The older generation loves children a lot. We could encourage all our kids to gift pleasantries to their grandparents and shower their love and affection on them.
Elders need specialised health care packages as money; health and fitness gradually go down the ladder as one begins to age. Dependency on their immediate family members may not be a wise decision always. In this regard, health insurance companies could offer comprehensive packages to celebrate the day. Volunteer campaigns, marathon runs and individual awareness meet to discuss older healthcare needs are not to be missed out!
Many children send their aged parents to old age homes where they feel a sense of abandonment. They feel neglected and mistreated by their children. All this, after a life full of struggles and compromises. Let us be more empathetic towards our older citizens and shower them with love and care.
We should encourage the worldwide celebration of International day for older persons in a unique way by spending time with elders, by caring for them and understanding their needs and concerns. Older citizens are a significant asset to the nation, and we must treat them with utmost respect and equality.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. When is International Day of Older Persons celebrated?
October 1st of every year is celebrated as International Day for Older Persons.
2. What is the theme of International Day of Older Persons 2020?
“Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?”.
3. What is the general theme of International Day of Older Persons?
The general theme for International Day for Older Persons concerns with the equal rights, safety, nutrition, well being, health and economic aspects of older citizens.
4. How do older people celebrate their day?
Older people usually visit their children and grandchildren and spend time with them to enjoy their day with love, gifts, good food and lots of celebration.
5. Who are the elderly persons?
As per law, citizens aged above 65 are termed as elder/senior citizens.