International day of Older Persons
The year 2020 marks 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.
On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons (resolution 45/106).
The composition of the world population has changed dramatically in recent decades. Between 1950 and 2010, life expectancy worldwide rose from 46 to 68 years. Globally, there were 703 million persons aged 65 or over in 2019. The region of Eastern and South-Eastern Asia was home to the largest number of older persons (261 million). Asia is followed by Europe and Northern America (over 200 million).
Over the next three decades, the number of older persons worldwide is projected to more than double, reaching more than 1.5 billion persons in 2050. All regions will see an increase in the size of the older population between 2019 and 2050.
Less developed countries excluding the least developed countries will be home to more than two-thirds of the world’s older population (1.1 billion) in 2050. Yet the fastest increase is projected to take place in the least developed countries. In this countries the number of persons aged 65 or over could rise from 37 million in 2019 to 120 million in 2050 (225%).
The 2020 theme aims to:
- Inform participants about the strategic objectives for the Decade of Healthy Ageing.
- Raise awareness of the special health needs of older persons. Of their contributions to their own health and to the functioning of the societies in which they live.
- Increase awareness and appreciation of the role of the health care workforce in maintaining and improving the health of older persons;
- Present proposals for reducing the health disparities between older persons in the developed and developing countries. So as to “Leave no one behind”.
- Increase understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on older persons and its impact on health care policy, planning, and attitudes.
Ageing and health
A longer life brings with it opportunities for societies as a whole. Additional years provide the chance to pursue new activities such as further education, a new career or pursuing a long neglected passion. Older people also contribute in many ways to their families and communities. Yet the extent of these opportunities and contributions depends heavily on one factor: health. Learn more.