Sunday 1 October is the ‘International Day of Older Persons’. A day we celebrate those who have lived long and all that they have to offer us.
We live in an aging world.
Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20% of the world’s population, will be 60 or older.
In New Zealand, by 2051, there will be over 1.14 million people aged 65 years and over. The elderly group itself is also ageing. The old-old (85 years and over) are expected to increase to over a quarter of a million by 2051. Then, they will make up 22 % of all New Zealanders aged 65 years and over, compared with 9 % in 1996.
This international day was founded in order to recognize the important contributions that older people make to our world, while raising awareness around issues of ageing,
It's a day to acknowledge the contribution older people make to our communities.
This year, 1 October is a Sunday. The perfect day to connect with any old or elderly people in your life. Or, if you’re an ‘older person’ it’s a good opportunity to have some extra fun. Age Concern NZ has lots of suggestions for intergenerational activities. Many of these can be fitted into one day but lots of them could become ongoing projects that would enable ongoing relationships and lots of entertainment!
- Do some sports: intergenerational Tai Chi, Wii sessions, archery, bowls, or backyard cricket.
- Play indoors: board games, puzzles or cards can be hours of fun and humiliation Plant a garden: either at home or create a community garden, allotment or space.
- Community event: organise intergenerational quizzes, street parties, festival of ages.
- Create art: create public art mural at a park, shopping centre, bus stop etc. join or start up, or join, an intergenerational choir, dance or and theatre group. The Hip Op-eration Crew are a great inspiration! If you haven’t seen them in action check them out here.
- Skills exchange: older people support younger people to cook, create CV’s, read, knit etc and younger people support older people with IT to use mobile phones, computers, access the internet, Wii etc.
Mostly it a great opportunity to connect with friends and family. Feel free to share what you’ve done to celebrate on our Facebook page!