Thirty years ago, the United Nations (UN) designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) to celebrate the contributions that older persons make to their families and communities, but at the same time to address the inequalities and unmet needs that they face. Progress has been made over the years, but at a snail’s pace.
Ironically, it has taken a pandemic to serve as a wake-up call. Death rates are rising among people over age 60 and ageism is rearing its ugly head once again as the value of older lives are questioned. This year’s International Day, with the theme of “Pandemics: How Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing,” looked at aging through a different lens—envisioning a society where the focus is on healthy aging, where older and younger people have equal value and human rights disparities are eliminated. This brief video from Dr. Jane Barratt, the Secretary General of the International Federation on Ageing, sums it up nicely. See below:

Leaving No One Behind

When the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were being drafted, those who provided input from the ageing field focused on a life course approach to solving problems, where no one—regardless of age—would be left behind. As new member of the NGOGlobal Executive Committee and on the Intergenerational sub-committee, I believe the time is right for all generations to use this as a mantra and come together to jumpstart the conversation about equal rights for everyone no matter what their stage in life. MORE, HERE
Dr. Sandra Timmermann
UN Representative
International Federation on Ageing