International Day Of Older Persons, 1st October 2021 – An Opportunity To Celebrate The Older People In Our Lives
October 1st is International Day of Older Persons, which provides us with the opportunity to highlight the value of older people in our communities and to promote dignity and respect for these older people. It’s a time for everyone, families and organisations to acknowledge and say thank you for the huge contribution older people make to our communities. Mentoring, volunteering, looking out for the neighbourhood, caring for children, sharing wisdom and experience and being in paid work and leading businesses are some of the many ways New Zealanders aged 65+ contribute.
However, all too often the older people in our community aren’t celebrated or appreciated. Ageism is one of the most tolerated forms of social prejudice today and doesn’t evoke the outcry other forms of ‘ism’ do. Ageism can be experienced by people at any age and in any setting including workplaces, communities and in our own homes.
At Age Concern Auckland every day we see the impact of ageism as we work with lonely and isolated older people and those experiencing elder abuse. Beyond this, we also witness the invisibility of so many older people in our community – they are left alone with no one looking out for them.
As a community, it’s time to change our attitudes about older people and our attitude to ageing. This International Day of Older Persons, Age Concern Auckland, is encouraging all New Zealanders to connect with the older people in their lives. Let them know that you care and what they mean to you and your family. Doing this is a great way to celebrate International Day of Older Persons.
In the words of Nelson Mandela “A society that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future. Let us strive to enhance their capacity to support themselves for as long as possible and, when they cannot do so anymore, to care for them.”
Notes to Editors:
- Age Concern Auckland CEO, Kevin Lamb, is available for comment.
· 10% of all people over the age of sixty-five will experience abuse and/or neglect. 75% of abuse is within families.
· 20% of all older people suffer from severe loneliness and isolation that is potentially detrimental to physical and mental well-being.
· By 2038 the number of over-65s in New Zealand will almost double.
· On the 14 December 1990, the UN General Assembly made the 1st of October International Day of Older Persons. This day was set aside to celebrate older people around the world and focus attention on the particular needs and challenges faced by many of them. It also celebrates the essential contribution older people make.
· IDOP is a time to celebrate the value of older people and a chance to acknowledge their contributions to our communities; in the work place, as volunteers, as caregivers and as whole people, with dreams, aspirations, wisdom and experience.
· Age Concern Auckland provides services that enable older people to lead healthier, socially connected, safe and respected lives.
· Age Concern Auckland is a charity for more information or to support visit: www.ageconcernauckland.org.nz.
Things we can all do to combat ageism:
· Speak up when you hear people speaking negatively about growing old
· Have the courage to question practices you feel are disrespectful to older people
· Don’t patronise older people
· Be patient, polite and friendly when dealing with an older person
· Have zero tolerance for abuse or neglect of an older person and speak out if you are concerned about someone
· Build relationships by getting to know the older people in your lives this helps to combat isolation and loneliness.