International Day of Older Persons 2021: Date, history, significance and theme
- International Day of Older Persons 2021: The special day for elderly is celebrated every year on October 1. The aim of the day is to spread awareness about issues affecting the elderly.
People worldwide are living longer. While life expectancy among people is improving with better health care, lifestyle, sufficient food and improved medical care, the same cannot be said about the quality of life for the elderly.
According to United Nations, by 2050, the world’s population aged 60 years and older will reach 2 billion, up from 900 million in 2015. Today, 125 million people are aged 80 years or older.
While a longer life of our elderly means more chances for them to pursue new activities, may be a new career, and their increased contribution in our society, it also means they are at risk of disease and disability and losing quality of life over a period of time.
Pandemic time has especially been harsh for older people as being restricted to homes has affected their mental health as well as lack of regular check-ups might have aggravated some chronic conditions.
On the occasion of International Day of Older Persons, let's have a look at the history, significance of the day and this year's theme:
This special day for elderly of the world, International Day of Older Persons , is celebrated every year on October 1. The aim of the day is to spread awareness about the need for health provisions and social care for elderly.
On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons. This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, which was adopted by the 1982 World Assembly on Ageing and endorsed later that year by the UN General Assembly.
Significance and theme of International Day of Older Persons
The theme for 2021 is “Digital Equity for All Ages” which affirms the need for access and meaningful participation in the digital world by older persons. The idea is to bring awareness about the inclusion of older persons, while tackling stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination associated with digitalization, taking into account sociocultural norms and the right to autonomy, to highlight policies to leverage digital technologies for full achievement of the sustainable development goals (SDGs), to address public and private interests, in the areas of availability, connectivity, design, affordability, capacity building, infrastructure, and innovation, to explore the role of policies and legal frameworks to ensure privacy and safety of older persons in the digital world, to highlight the need for a legally binding instrument on the rights of older persons and an intersectional person-centered human rights approach for a society for all ages, according to UN.