Why we celebrate the international day of older persons

The International Day of Older Persons is a special day dedicated to remembering our seniors and all they have done and still do for us. People around the world celebrate it every year on October 1st to raise awareness about all issues that affect the elderly population with regards to anything from aging-associated diseases to ageism and elder abuse. Read on to see how important roles our seniors play in society.

The day has been established by the United Nations General Assembly. According to their website, there are currently 700 million people 60 years old or older in the world today, with the number rising to 2 billion by the year 2050. These striking statistics necessitate increased focus on our elderly.

Therefore, the day was chosen for leaders and citizens to pay particular attention to global human rights of seniors. Government institutions approach senior policies in various ways, from focusing on promoting active ageing and aging in place to encouraging family ties and the importance of a strong family support unit.

Reasons to celebrate our seniors

Seniors around the world are affected by various health, social and economic issues which need to be addressed by us, the younger generations. We need to work on inclusion and equality in our societies to make sure that the elderly can stay active and therefore prevent isolation and certain age-related illnesses.

The role of the elderly is very often overlooked in our society today. Ageism and prejudice distorts our views on what they are capable of when in fact, older people still have a lot to give to our world. They have rich experience and expert knowledge and have a desire to share their know-how.

We owe them so much. Don't forget to tell them you are grateful to them. At least sometimes.

They provide indispensable support in family relationships. Giving our seniors a chance to shine helps every generation grow. Each of us are in contact with elderly people whether they are our parents or neighbors. Celebrating their participation in our lives is important to take into consideration. Read on to see how.

The important roles our seniors play in society

We need to start senior inclusion at a family level. Seniors may be our parents. They have lived a life focusing on bettering our own lives. Now, they may give us precious advice when we are looking for some wise words. Seniors may be grandparents. And there is a unique relationship between a grandchild and a grandparent. 

Where parents are too busy and distracted to focus on their children, a grandparent can step in and provide much needed attention and in the long run, grant emotional stability to children.

It is very important for our children to spend some time with the elderly because they can learn a lot from them and vice versa.

At a community level, active seniors can take part in a variety of activities which can help them combat loneliness while simultaneously helping others. Volunteering is a wonderful way for retired people to engage in group activities. They can choose from a wide range of causes. From health-related associations to soup kitchens, seniors can find a field they already have experience in or otherwise try something completely new. They will get to know new people while promoting an important cause.

Helping our elderly stay engaged

Let’s start to show our appreciation for our seniors’ selfless actions by showing how much we care. We can bring the closer to us by keeping in touch regularly. Consistent contact, either by visiting or phone calls, is the keystone to helping them feel loved and appreciated. Even if we live far away, there are ways to strengthen our family relationships and help seniors feel less alone and isolated.

Technology has given us so much in terms of staying in contact with others in today’s mobile society. We should utilize the possibilities by giving our elderly too, a chance to step onto an online communication platform. Maintaining contact with seniors over long distance can be made possible with Oscar Senior, an online app for tablet and smartphone.

Oscar Senior app helps the elderly to stay engaged.

The app simplifies these devices so seniors have no trouble going online. They can either contact you via the video call feature or choose to do a variety of other tasks such as checking the news or reading online forums. The chance to go online will give seniors the joy of contacting friends and family, the experience of getting to know new people through online communities, and the safety of knowing they can get help if they need it.

The International Day of Older Persons was established in 1990 with a chosen theme celebrated each year. This year we celebrate older human rights champions. People who have chosen to step up and defend the rights of senior citizens around the world. We too, can become advocates for the elderly, starting with simple steps to helping them feel included and rewarded. Let’s celebrate October 1 together by calling up an elderly loved one in our lives!