Celebrate Seniors this October 1

October 1 is the UN International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP). A day that encourages communities to celebrate the contributions seniors make to society.

Unfortunately, a report on ageing and health has found that many of the multiple, valuable contributions that older people can make to families and societies have been overlooked.

This makes Saturday an even more important day to celebrate.

History of UNIDOP

In December 1990 the United Nations General Assembly set aside October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons.

This year’s theme is Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.

The hope is that October 1 reminds governments and societies to ensure older persons can participate in the world around them. Specifically, by addressing problems that hinder their ability, whether it be healthcare or financial or legal matters.

Seniors also need to be given access to technology, information and educational opportunities, which is another goal of 2017 UNIDOP.

Importance of UNIDOP

The number of older persons worldwide is expected to increase by 56 per cent to 1.4 billion by 2030. By 2050 there will be more people over 60 than there will be children in the world, according to the UN. That will be two billion or 20 per cent of the world’s population.

Seniors play a large part in many workplaces, as older Canadians have been putting off retirement. They are also active volunteers in their communities. A recent study has shown Canadian seniors put in one billion volunteer hours each year.

Celebrating UNIDOP

Given their impact on our communities we should all take time on October 1 to celebrate our seniors.

You don’t have to make a big declaration for the day, simply taking a senior out for coffee to show you value them can make a difference.

The Canadian Government also encourages people to show their support for seniors on social media by using the hashtag #SayThanks or by visiting their Facebook page. You can also acknowledge the day with the hashtag #UNIDOP


Written by Chandra Lye

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