Celebrating the International Day of Older Persons

01 October 2020.

The day is also special as it marks the start of the WHO’s Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020 to 2030.

On October 1 each year we celebrate older people to mark the International Day of the Older Persons. This special day was designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) back in 1990 to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the 21st century and to promote the development of a society for all ages.

This day is also special as it marks the start of the WHO’s Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020 to 2030. The Decade was endorsed by the 73rd World Health Assembly at the start of August and marks an important opportunity to bring together governments, civil society, international agencies, professionals, academia, the media, and the private sector for 10 years of ‘concerted, catalytic and collaborative’ action to improve the lives of older people, their families, and the communities in which they live.

The WHO’s 194 member states have agreed a plan for the Decade of Healthy Ageing 2020 to which outlines four interconnected areas. The four areas are:

o changing how we think, feel and act towards age and ageing

o ensuring that communities foster the abilities of older people

o delivering person-centred integrated care and primary health services responsive to older people

o providing access to long-term care for older people who need it.

In New Zealand, achievement of the actions outlined in each of the four areas will be contributed to by work that is underway and or proposed as part of the Better Later Life He Oranga Kaumātua 2019 to 2034 Strategy and Action Plan and the Healthy Ageing Strategy and Priority Actions 2019 – 2022