The 1st October 2017 will be International Day of Older Persons. Adopted by Governments around the world in 2014 by a resolution at the Economic and Social Council that recognized ageism as “the common source of, the justification for and the driving force behind age discrimination.”
Unfortunately, it is indeed sad that ageism is a widely prevalent and prejudicial attitude that stems from the assumption that age discrimination, and sometimes neglect and abuse of older persons is a social norm and therefore, acceptable. It is a reality in some form in all societies, and finds expression in individuals’ attitudes, institutional and policy practices, as well as media representation that devalue and exclude older persons. We need to change this.
Such discrimination shapes how older persons are treated and perceived by their societies, including in medical settings and workplaces, creating environments that limit older persons’ potential and impact their health and well-being. The failure to tackle ageism undermines older persons’ rights and hinders their contributions to social, economic, cultural and political life.
This year’s (2017) International Day of Older Persons event theme underscores the link between tapping the talents and contributions of older persons and achieving the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing, which is currently undergoing its third review and appraisal process.