The International Day of Older Persons is observed on October 1 each year.
On December 14, 1990 the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons. It is celebrated to recognize the contributions of older persons as recorded in Resolution 45/106 and to examine issues that affect their lives. The International Day of Older Persons is a global observance and not a public holiday. Whereas every year there will be a theme for the international day of older persons, the theme for the 2018 celebration is “Celebrating Older Human Rights champions”.
There are currently around 700 million people over the age of 60. It is predicted that by 2050, this figure will have risen to 2 billion. These figures have prompted a lot of attention and various initiatives have been started to try and address the problems that will arise. For example, the Vienna Plan of Action on Ageing which was adopted in 1982.
International Day of Older Persons is a special day for older persons or senior citizens all over the world. In many countries, politicians make speeches, particularly those responsible for government departments that focus on senior citizens, at this time of the year. Some radios, televisions or newspapers publish interviews with senior citizens on various issues such as achievements they made to create a better society.
Other activities surrounding this day include: displays of promotional material on the International Day of Older Persons in schools, tertiary institutions, office buildings and public notice boards; media announcements on the day and activities that promote older persons; and inter-generational cooperation on voluntary activities focused on the environment, health, education or community services.
The World Health Organization (WHO), which is the UN’s directing and coordinating authority for health-related issues, and other groups have been actively involved in promoting public awareness and attention on the International Day of Older Persons. Discussions are cantered on topics such as: ageing populations and the provision of adequate healthcare for aged persons; volunteer work; social care; and ways to be more inclusive of older persons in the workforce.