October 1 is recognized each year as the International Day of Older Persons.
Proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1990, and first observed October 1, 1991, this day has been set aside to raise awareness of issues impacting members of our aging society.
This year, the theme is: “Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World.”
Older persons have always made a significant contribution to our society and are increasingly playing even more vital roles during these times of change. They are often among the most resilient people in times of crisis, and they have much to offer their families, friends, and neighbours.
Older persons have:
-Exhibited resilience through sharing their knowledge and expertise. They have passed on their skills and knowledge to the next generation, helping to build a strong foundation for the future. Additionally, they have continued to contribute their talents and skills well into their older years, demonstrating that age is no barrier to success.
-Been resilient in the face of adversity. They have faced challenges such as poverty, illness, and discrimination with courage and determination. By overcoming these obstacles, they have shown that nothing can stop them from achieving their goals.
-Remained resilient while adapting to change. With the ever-changing landscape of our world, they have continuously adapted to new technologies, social norms, and ways of life. This has allowed them to stay connected to their communities and contribute their unique perspectives.
You can’t talk about resilience without highlighting the significant contribution of older women. Despite facing discrimination and exclusion, they have persevered and continued to make valuable contributions:
- Older women have been a backbone of the family and community for many years.
- They have often been the main source of income for their families.
- They have been a source of wisdom and knowledge for future generations.
- They have been leaders in their communities and countries.
- They have been fighters for justice and human rights.
- They have been innovators and creators in all fields of work.
- They have been caregivers to their families and friends.
- They have been a symbol of strength in the face of adversity.
One way to celebrate the contributions and resiliency of older persons is to hold events and activities that promote education and awareness on aging issues. This can help to dispel myths and stereotypes about aging and show that older persons are a valuable and valued part of our society. Correct information about needs and greater understanding of perspectives contributes toward the development of meaningful policies and actions. Another way to celebrate older persons is to highlight their achievements and accomplishments to inspire other generations and demonstrate that age is not a barrier to success. Finally, we can support the established policies and programs that enhance the quality of life for older persons to help ensure that all older persons have access to the resources they need to continue to live a healthy and enriching life.
The variety of International Days formalize the opportunity to shed light upon current and emerging global challenges and their corresponding opportunities. We can help to define and move toward a world that embraces further the dignity and humanity of all persons. It only requires a commitment to reflect, learn, share and where possible, take action.
Rhonda Latreille, MBA, CPCA
Founder & CEO
Aging and Physical Resiliency
There are several factors that contribute to physical resiliency. One key element is simply having a positive attitude and a sense of purpose in life. Older adults who are active and engaged in their communities are more likely to recover from setbacks than those who are isolated and inactive. Another important factor is social support – having friends and family members who can offer encouragement and practical assistance during difficult times can make a big difference. Finally, good health habits also play a role in resilience. People who eat healthy foods, get regular exercise, and maintain a positive outlook tend to be more resilient than those who do not.
“I live in that solitude which is painful in youth, but delicious in the years of maturity.”