International day for older persons 2015 is observed on 1st October and theme is " Sustainability and Age Inclusiveness in the Urban Environment ", 2014 theme is “Leaving No One Behind: Promoting a Society for All”, 2013 theme is "The future we want: what older persons are saying" and 2012 theme is "Longevity: Shaping the Future".
It was October 7, 2007, The International Day of Older Persons, when The World Health Organization (www.who.int) offers some astonishing statistics on the aging population, offered by the Voluntary Arts Network (www.voluntaryarts.org).
"In the next 50 years, the number of older persons will nearly quadruple, growing from about 600 million to almost 2 billion senior citizens. Today, one in every ten is 60 years and older. By 2050, one out of every five will be an older person, and by 2150, one third of the people in the world are expected to be 60 years of age or older".
That's seriously a staggering number of individuals officially categorized as 'elderly' whilst still in their 60s!
We have reached an important landmark crossroads, the closing of one millennium and the beginning of another. This is a remarkable occasion by all accounts. Yet what is overwhelming is what the future stores for the world in this new era as it undergoes a demographic revolution. The world is changing as it ages, and the older persons have been the witness to these changes, they must also be its beneficiaries.
At the same time, we must rethink rigid differentiations that represent age and give it boundaries. Everyone, individually and collectively, is attached to this single human venture, and everyone will react, in their own way, to the ventures as well as the challenges. Ageing is not a distinct issue from social integration, gender development economic advancement or issues of poverty. It has earned a connection with many global agendas and will play, definitely, a prominent role in the way society interacts with economic and social welfare organizations, family and community life and the importance of women.
The complex infrastructure of society as well as the unique life style of individuals can be comprehensively distinct by a progressive upward shift in the global platform. The total effect cannot be easily discerned.
We all know about the outstanding demographic change that is under way. But our task is not to emphasis on what we already know. It is rather to equip ourselves and future generations with the apt tools to combat these challenges. Let us see this new century as an opportunity to inculcate belief in the possibilities of non-violence and peaceful coordination in order to advocate progress for all ages in every sphere of sections.
We are all constituents of a rural as well as city dwellers, ranging society, public and private sector communities, families and individuals, old and young alike. It is important that societies adjust to this human standard as record numbers of people are reaching old age, if we are to move towards as a society for all ages.