Sunday, September 30, 2007

World Elders Day

World Elders Day is celebrated on 1st of Oct every year.
This is the UN note on Ageing for 2007:
Older people - a new power for development.Why a "new power"?

A demographic revolution is underway throughout the world. Today, world-wide, there are around 600 million persons aged 60 years and over; this total will double by 2025 and will reach virtually two billion by 2050 - the vast majority of them in the developing world.

In our fast ageing world, older people will increasingly play a critical role - through volunteer work, transmitting experience and knowledge, helping their families with caring responsibilities and increasing their participation in the paid labour force.

Already now, older persons make major contributions to society. For instance, throughout Africa -and elsewhere - millions of adult AIDS patients are cared for at home by their parents. On their death, orphaned children left behind (currently, 14 million under the age of 15 in African countries alone) are mainly looked after by their grandparents.

It is not only in developing countries that older persons' role in development is critical. In Spain for example, caring for dependent and sick individuals (of all ages) is mostly done by older people (particularly older women); the average number of minutes per day spent in providing such care increases exponentially with the carers' age: 201 minutes if the carer is in the age group 65-74 and 318 minutes if aged 75-84 - compared to only 50 minutes if the carer is in the age group 30-49 (Durán H, Fundación BBVA, 2002).

Such contributions to development can only be ensured if older persons enjoy adequate levels of health, for which appropriate policies need to be in place. In line with the Madrid International Plan of Action, the World Health Organization launched in 2002 a document "Active Ageing - A Policy Framework", outlining its approaches and perspectives for healthy ageing throughout the life course.

"Ageing is a development issue. Healthy older persons are a resource for their families, their communities and the economy."
- WHO Brasilia declaration on healthy ageing, 1996.

I was thinking aloud as to what could be the fit way to celebrate World Elders Day. It is probably one of the least glorified of all days. Does it show our apathy? Probably we do forget that it is just a matter of time before we too are there, being the "Elders".

There is an organization called Nightingales in Bangalore, Malleswaram which has done a lot of work towards making the lives of the elderly a pleasure. They also have day care for the elderly who can spend their time with a lot of people from morning till evening. The atmosphere there is very nice and I for one, felt that for some elders who would otherwise be all alone through the day, it would be a blessing to have homes like this where they can do all activities and also talk to a lot of people. It seems to be a very healthy place with all the elders there sporting a happy smile.

Remember the contribution our Elders have made in our Life,Society,,Country and the world.Lets Stand together and honour the Senior Citizens,"We are proud of all our elders for being part of our lives".


Balaji S Rajan said...

A lovely post to make others think about the old people. It has become a fashion in keeping the old people away. You have rightly said, that how we could use them as a resource positively. I am sure there are young people all over the world who realise this. There are two things to remember always. If they were not here, we would not have been here. There are not many years left for us to become like them. If people could realise this two factors, then everything will be alright. It is a shame to hear younger generations not spending enough time with older people.

Isaac said...

Go to
to read my views on elderly.