Oct. 1 Is United Nations International Day of Older Persons

September 29, 2017

On Sunday, Oct. 1, communities around the world will observe the International Day of Older Persons, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) has announced. In 1990 the United Nations designated Oct. 1 to recognize the vital contributions of older people globally and to encourage member nations to thoughtfully address their increasingly aging populations.

The theme of the 2017 International Day of Older Persons is “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.” It highlights the benefits that come with supporting the full inclusion of older adults in their community, workplace and family.

“Clearly, our communities are stronger when everyone has the opportunity to contribute their talents,” stated ACL. “Helping to make that possible is at the core of everything we do.”

The contributions of older adults to society are many because they play multiple roles: grandparents, parents, and great aunts and uncles; friends and mentors; community leaders and volunteers; elected officials; and critical contributors in the workforce. ACL advocates for older adults, people with disabilities, and the people who support them so they are able to live independently and participate fully in their communities. ACL funds a wide range of services and supports provided by networks of community-based organizations and invests in research and innovation.

ACL programs provide support to caregivers, many of whom are older adults themselves; help older adults manage chronic health conditions, remain physically active, and preserve their overall health; support states in protecting rights and preventing abuse; and help older adults maintain control of their own lives, even if they need assistance with some tasks.

In the United States 10,000 adults turn 65 every day. Globally, the number of people age 60 and over is expected to reach 1.4 billion in 2030 and 2 billion in 2050.

“We must all work together – in our communities, across the nation, and in partnership with other countries – to promote policies that recognize and make use of the experience and capabilities of this growing population,” said ACL. “This is particularly true as people are living longer and staying healthier for more of those years.”

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