International Day of Older People 1st October 2011

October 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Saturday 1st October marked International Day of Older People, an annual event held across the world to celebrate older people and their contributions to make society a better place.

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The event was created in the early 1990’s by the United Nations, who thought that it was a great opportunity to recognise the elderly and raise awareness of aging. Now more than ever aging is an issue which people are interested to learn more about and International Day of Older People offer the perfect chance to do so.

This morning I read lots about International Day of Older People 2011 including statistics which help put the wonderful achievements of elderly people into perspective. One report stated that ‘people aged 60 and over represent almost 11 per cent of the total world population’ and this number is expected to rise. Startlingly in developing countries many elderly people work for their entire lives and unimaginably live on ‘less than one dollar (60 pence) a day’.

International day of older people

Age UK and HelpAge International are campaigning to introduce pension schemes into developing countries, where grandparents work to provide for entire families. The charity schemes hopes to help elderly people find more financial assistance of which they are entitled.  

Here in the UK Prime Minister David Cameron made a commitment over the weekend to ‘encourage older people to play a greater role in society’. I think that in lots of cases this is already taking place. As when I sat down to think about elderly people I instantly thought about grandparents who play a huge role in family life, older people who volunteer their time to great causes and elderly individuals who have a brilliantly positive attitude towards life.

A survey released on Saturday to mark International Day of Older People in the UK also noted that due to an increasing rise in aging by ‘2035, an estimated 100,000 people will be 100 years old or more’- a huge increase from the 12640 centenarians today.

International Day of Older People

I find these statistics both wonderful and somewhat baffling. Hearing that we are living longer is great news- a longer lifetime will enable us to achieve and contribute much more. However the strain which an aging population will put on society is something I which am sure will be interesting to watch unfold.

On the whole I think that International Day of Older People 2011 should celebrate the huge improvements in healthcare, medical advances and the way in which we life. As these improvement are continuing to enhance and prolong life expectancy worldwide, which is most defiantly worth celebrating.

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