International Day for Older Persons_1st October 2021


Catholic Outlook

International Day of Older Persons – 1 October 2021

By Cathy McClellan and Maria Kervin, 1 October 2021

Parishioners are seen during Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church, Baulkham Hills South in 2019. Image: Diocese of Parramatta

 

In a video message for the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons in October 2020, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said:

“…We reckon with the disproportionate and severe impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on older persons around the world – not only on their health, but on their rights and well-being.”

As a Catholic community involved with older persons, we too celebrate International Day of Older Persons on 1 October 2021. This year (and last) has had many challenges, living through a pandemic and as Catholics, we need to celebrate and pay respect to those in our community who have built and shaped our world.

We are reminded that older persons are the backbone of our Catholic communities as they have volunteered and participated and encouraged all to be a part of our faith community. In particular, this is a wonderful opportunity to acknowledge the ongoing work and selfless commitment of the older members of our parishes. Their participation highlights for all of us what Catholic service in ministry is all about. These people generously give of their time and talents across the many ministries in parish life. The ministries of Catechists (SRE Teachers), Music and Liturgy, Pastoral Care and Hospitality and Ministries of the Altar are just some of the aspects of parish life where their example of service are most felt. We are truly grateful for their example, generosity of spirit and for their genuine support of all within a Parish. We pray that they may continue their important and highly valued work. We are truly grateful for their lived example of the Gospel message and for what they have and continue to offer to each and every parish.

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www.socialjustice.catholic.org.au

“The year 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons. This year has also seen an emergence of COVID-19, that has caused an upheaval across the world. Considering the higher risks confronted by older persons during the outbreak of pandemics such as COVID-19, policy and programmatic interventions must be targeted towards raising awareness of their special needs. Recognizing older persons contributions to their own health and the multiple roles they play in the preparedness and response phases of current and future pandemics is also important.”

The theme of the 2020 commemoration is “Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?”

Action:

Revisit the 2016-17 Social Justice Statement, A Place at the Table: Social Justice in an Aging Society.

A Prayer for all Ages

 

God of all creation, you are timeless and beyond all ages.

We who are growing old give thanks for the years you have given us –
for family, friends and all those who have enriched our lives.
We who are not yet old give thanks for the older people in our lives:
for grandparents, loved ones, friends and all who generously offer
the wise counsel of their years.

We who are growing old pray that we may be patient with our ageing limbs
and difficulties in everyday tasks we once did much more easily.
We who are not yet old pray for patience and kindness
towards those who do not move as quickly as we would sometimes like.

We who are growing old pray for good health in our later years,
and forbearance when our health fails us.
We who are not yet old pray for good health for those we love
and compassion towards those who suffer ill health.

We who are growing old pray for prudence and sweet timing, in offering our wisdom to the next generation, while respecting their energy and creativity.
We who are not yet old pray for openness and humility in receiving
the advice and guidance of our elders.

We who are growing old pray that we may face our death with serenity and dignity.
We who are not yet old pray that we affirm the sacredness of each person’s life
and accompany those who are dying with gentleness and deep respect.

God of endless love, help us to understand that we share a common life journey,
a call to live life to the full and to strive to enable all creation to come
to the fullness of the Cosmic Christ. Amen

un.org_olderpersonsday

High school student Nelea Ungureanu pays a socially distanced visit to Maria Ro?ca. An initiative in Moldova is fostering intergenerational solidarity as part of the COVID-19 response.
PHOTO:© UNFPA Moldova/Dan Gutu
António Guterres

“The world marks the 30th anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons as we reckon with the disproportionate and severe impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought on older persons around the world – not only on their health, but on their rights and well-being.”

UN Secretary-General António Guterres

Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?

The year 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons. This year has also seen an emergence of COVID-19, that has caused an upheaval across the world. Considering the higher risks confronted by older persons during the outbreak of pandemics such as COVID-19, policy and programmatic interventions must be targeted towards raising awareness of their special needs. Recognizing older persons contributions to their own health and the multiple roles they play in the preparedness and response phases of current and future pandemics is also important.

This year has also been recognised as the “Year of the Nurse and Midwife”. International Day of Older Persons 2020 will highlight the role of the health care workforce in contributing to the health of older persons, with special recognition of the nursing profession, and a primary focus on the role of women – who are relatively undervalued and in most cases inadequately compensated.

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Celebrating Older Human Rights Champions.”

The 2018 theme:

  • Promote the rights enshrined in the Declaration and what it means in the daily lives of older persons;
  • Raise the visibility of older people as participating members of society committed to improving the enjoyment of human rights in many areas of life and not just those that affect them immediately;
  • Reflect on progress and challenges in ensuring full and equal enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms by older persons; and
  • Engage broad audiences across the world and mobilize people for human rights at all stages of life.

 

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