On the 1st of October, International Day for Older Persons raises awareness to ensure people can get old with dignity.
We are all born with the same human rights. Unfortunately, we live in a world of negative stereotypes towards older people and older age. This ageism drives discrimination and societal judgments, making the elderly feel ignored and devalued. However, we are all living longer, and it is urgent to start recognizing that getting older is not a problem to be solved, but a sign of a successful journey.
“Being older is something that should be celebrated” - Ken Bluestone
On the 1st of October, we celebrate the International Day of Older Persons. In particular, we honor their strength and resilience in a changing world. This special date is aimed to encourage people to break negative misconceptions about aging by calling public attention to the world of older people. In addition, this date enables the elderly to realize their potential and gives them an opportunity to feel part of society.
Over the past years, the world has suffered many crises that had affected especially the oldest ones. The virus Covid-19 has hit older people’s rights, causing fear around this group. Since 2020, the elderly are living at a higher risk of developing serious illnesses from this virus. Therefore, they needed to adapt to an unconfident life surrounded by worries, and loneliness.
Moreover, focusing on the world going around us today, the crisis happening in Ukraine it’s generating a huge impact on older people. Ukraine has the world’s oldest population. One out of every four people is over the age of 60. In addition, they have been living through conflict since 2014. In other words, older persons in Ukraine have been deprived of their basic rights, such as health and security, for 8 years now.
These facts are only two examples that demonstrate the strength that is needed when aging in a changing world. The idea of resilience describes the capacity to recover and adapt from difficulties. Aging is respecting as getting older. But, unfortunately, far too often we tend to forget or ignore the older people in our lives, and even underrecognize them.
That’s why getting older is terrifying for almost all of society. We use to relate aging with weakness because we don’t appreciate their strength. We tend to forget them because they aren’t a member of our society with full capacities.
However, it is now needed to step up our efforts and protect the rights and dignity of older persons. It is essential to break the negative stereotypes that are still alive and give the elderly the opportunity to participate as actively as anyone else.