The International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) is an occasion to highlight the important contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the issues and challenges of ageing in today’s world. On 14th December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated 1st October the International Day of Older Persons.
“Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society” is the theme of International Day of Older Persons 2017.
Stepping into the future with pledges that no one will be left behind, it is quite evident that the need to tap into the (often overlooked and under-appreciated) contributions of older persons is not only essential to older persons’ well-being, but also imperative for sustainable development processes.
Through this theme emphasis is given about enabling and expanding the contributions of older people in their families, communities and societies at large. It focuses on the pathways that support full and effective participation in old age, in accordance with old persons’ basic rights, needs and preferences. The theme will explore effective means of promoting and strengthening the participation of older persons in various aspects of social, cultural, economic and civic and political life.
Objectives of the IDOP 2017-
The world’s population is rapidly aging. The number of people aged 60 years or older will rise from 900 million to 2 billion between 2015 and 2050. By 2030, this number will exceed that of young people aged 15 to 24. This demographic transition will impact on almost all aspects of society.
According to Population Census 2011, there are nearly 104 million elderly persons (age 60 years or more) in India. Percentage share of elderly persons in the population of India is ever increasing from 5.6 per cent in 1961 to 8.6 per cent in 2011.
As universal health coverage is the foundation for achieving the health objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals, it is essential to consider and fulfill the health and social care needs of the ever- increasing numbers of older people.
In India, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment (the nodal Ministry for the welfare of senior citizens) observes the IDOP to acknowledge the contribution of senior citizens to the society and to sensitize the public at large about their problems and needs and to make society more elderly friendly. Integrated programme for older persons (revised on 01.04.2016)*, a central sector scheme is functioning to improve the quality of life of the Older Persons.
The National Programme for Health Care for the Elderly (NPHCE)** launched by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India (GOI) aims to provide comprehensive health care to elderly through various levels of State Health Care delivery system including outreach services. GOI also provides benefits like health insurance schemes, tax exemptions, and concessions in rail and air fares to the senior citizens.