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 an annual observance dedicated to recognising the contributions of elderly individuals and addressing the issues they face. This day aims to encourage societies to be more age-inclusive, as well as promote the rights, dignity, and welfare of older persons. By engaging governments, policymakers and the public on this topic, International Day of Older Persons seeks to tackle ageism and support an ageing population, ensuring that everyone can live with dignity, respect and independence.

Established by the United Nations in 1990, International Day of Older Persons has a global focus, and the United Kingdom plays a significant role in recognising its importance. With an ageing population, the UK faces various challenges, such as providing adequate healthcare, housing and support services for the elderly. Efforts are underway to promote intergenerational solidarity, opportunities for lifelong learning, and the valuable contributions made by older individuals to their communities. This day also sheds light on addressing age discrimination and investing in policies and services that enhance the well-being of the elderly.

A range of events and initiatives are organised throughout the United Kingdom to mark International Day of Older Persons. It is observed by organisations, community groups and individuals who host awareness-raising events, workshops, seminars and social gatherings to celebrate the lives and achievements of older people. Additionally, local governments and agencies develop and implement various programmes and policies aimed at supporting the elderly population. International Day of Older Persons takes place annually on 1st October, providing an opportunity for the UK to join the rest of the world in honouring and supporting its older citizens.

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.
  • Most older people in the UK live in their own homes, with around 77% of people aged 65 and over being homeowners.
  • Older people in the UK are more likely to experience poverty and financial insecurity than younger individuals. Approximately 14% of people aged 65 and over are at risk of poverty, often due to inadequate pension income or lack of savings.

Top things to do in the UK for this observance

  • Some older persons' organizations take advantage of this day to raise awareness about specific issues affecting older people, such as ageism, unequal rights, or inadequate social support. They might organize rallies, marches, or conferences to highlight these concerns.
  • As digital technology becomes increasingly important, initiatives are devised to teach older individuals about using computers, smartphones, and the internet. These programs aim to bridge the digital divide and enhance their access to information and communication.

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