The 1st October 2016 is designated by the United Nations as the International Day of Older Persons, and this year the focus is on tackling ageism in all its forms.
In his message for 2016, the UN Secretary-General says:
While older persons are often said to enjoy particular respect, the reality is that too many societies limit them, denying access to jobs, loans and basic services. The marginalization and devaluing of older persons takes a heavy toll. It undermines their productivity and experience in the workforce, in volunteerism and through civil engagement while constraining their capacity for caregiving as well as financial and other support to families and communities. Ageism frequently intersects with other forms of discrimination based on gender, race, disability and other grounds, compounding and intensifying its effects.
Ending ageism and securing the human rights of older persons is an ethical and practical imperative. The stakes are high and growing. The global population of older persons is expected to rise from just over 900 million in 2015 to 1.4 billion by 2030 and 2.1 billion by 2050, when there will be roughly the same the number of older persons and children under 15.
– Ban Ki-moon
Read the full message from the Secretary-General and other information about International Day of Older Persons on the United Nations website: www.un.org/en/events/olderpersonsday.
The International Day of Older Persons and its emphasis on the issue of ageism ties in closely to the message of the 2016-17 Australian Catholic Bishops (ACBC) Conference Social Justice Statement: “A Place at the Table: Social justice in an ageing society.”
October 1st will be a prompt for all Australians to acknowledge and educate themselves on the issues related to an ageing population, and is an ideal opportunity to read the ACBC Statement, considering its relevance and applications in our every day lives.
The Statement can be read online, or ordered as a hard copy from the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC). Head to www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au to download or order a copy of the statement, and to check out the other free resources on offer.