International Day of Older Persons 2021: Theme, History and Significance

Elderly persons are a gift to society. They are wise and have the benefit of hindsight, compared to the youth who are often impulsive and lack experience. Society benefits from the teachings of the elderly. The latter, however, suffer, not only from debilitating illnesses but often from abuse and disregard by younger people. The International Day of Older Persons, held on October 1 annually, addresses issues that affect the elderly and looks at solutions to the challenges they face.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF OLDER PERSONS 2021: THEME
“Digital Equity for All Ages” is the theme for this year’s International Day of Older Persons. The theme stresses the need for the elderly to receive access to the digital world and help them become active participants to enrich their lives. As per the United Nations, elderly persons in the least developed countries are, for the most part, not getting proper access to the digital world.

There are also legitimate cyber security risks that compromise the privacy, security and human rights of the elderly.

The United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) has laid down certain objectives under UNIDOP 2021. These include raising awareness about helping the elderly get access to the digital world and addressing issues of digitisation and technology without ignoring sociocultural issues or individual choice. UNIDOP also stresses the need to look at laws that ensure the security and privacy of the elderly in the digital realm.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF OLDER PERSONS: HISTORY
The first international initiative on old age citizens was the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing. It was adopted in 1982 at the World Assembly on Ageing at Vienna and subsequently endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). This initiative paved the way for the adoption of the International Day of Older Persons, on December 14, 1990, by the UNGA, in its 68th plenary meeting, under Resolution 45/106.

INTERNATIONAL DAY OF OLDER PERSONS: SIGNIFICANCE
International Day of Older Persons highlights the challenges of ageing, such as health issues and elder abuse. The day also seeks to highlight the contributions of the elderly to our society.