International Day of Older Persons

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2024 Date1 October 2024
2025 Date1 October 2025

International Day of Older Persons

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International Day of Older Persons History

International Day of Older Persons is a significant annual observance established to recognize the invaluable contributions of older persons to society and raise awareness on issues affecting the older population. This global event encourages people to appreciate the skills, knowledge, and experience that seniors bring to our communities. It further aims to highlight the importance of addressing the challenges associated with ageing, ensuring the well-being of older persons, and promoting their active participation in social, political, and economic life.

Introduced by the United Nations in 1990, International Day of Older Persons holds particular relevance for Australia, considering the significant proportion of its population aged 60 and above. According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, this age group is expected to double by 2055. As such, this observance provides an opportunity for Australians to reflect on the importance of creating supportive environments and adequate policies to safeguard the health, rights, and dignity of older persons. The day further accentuates the need for intergenerational solidarity and fostering a greater understanding and appreciation of the ageing process in Australia.

To mark International Day of Older Persons, numerous events and activities are organized across Australia to celebrate the lives and achievements of older persons, including seminars, art exhibitions, concerts, and intergenerational initiatives. These activities aim to strengthen the connections between older and younger members of the community, encourage the transfer of knowledge, and challenge age-related stereotypes. In Australia, International Day of Older Persons is observed on the same date as recognized globally: the 1st of October.

International Day of Older Persons facts

  • The theme for International Day of Older Persons in 2023 is was Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons – Across Generations. in 2022 the theme was Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World.
  • Despite misconceptions, mental capabilities such as wisdom and knowledge often improve with age. Many older people continue to learn, work, and contribute to their communities.
  • Older people have lower physiological reserves, meaning they have less ability to compensate for stressors such as disease or injury.
  • Australia has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. In 2020, life expectancy at birth was estimated to be 80.9 years for males and 85.0 years for females.
  • Older Australians contribute significantly to the economy, not just through the workforce but also through taxation, volunteering, and providing unpaid care for family members, including childcare and aged care.

Top things to do in Australia for this observance

  • Use this day to get involved in volunteering opportunities that benefit older persons, such as driving seniors to appointments, assisting with shopping, or helping out at a local aged care facility. You can also support organizations working for older Australians by making a donation or participating in a fundraising event.
  • This day serves as an essential reminder to spend time with the older people in our lives, listen to their stories, and learn from their experience.

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