International Day of Older Persons
a United Nations initiative celebrated around the world
It’s a time for everyone, families and organisations to acknowledge and say thank you for the huge contribution older people make to communities throughout New Zealand.
Mentoring, volunteering, looking out for the neighbourhood, caring for children, sharing wisdom and experience and of course, being in paid work and leading businesses are some of the many ways senior New Zealanders aged 65 and older contribute.
Across the world the number of seniors is expected to more than double to over 2 billion in 2050, and in around thirty years time it’s expected that there will be more older people than children – the first time in our history.
Here in New Zealand we will have 1.2 million New Zealanders aged over 65 years in just twenty years.
This demographic change makes it important to plan for how and where we live.
We need to look at creating a more enabling and inclusive environment that is supportive and inclusive to people of all ages, including older people. This includes access to affordable, reliable, safe and physically accessible transportation, which is one of the cornerstones of older persons’ participation, independence and social inclusion.
All of this is a benefit to the entire community, because what’s good for older people is almost always good for everyone else – for example, those in wheelchairs as well as parents with young children, or anyone with limited mobility.
Ideas for Workplaces:
To recognise this event…
Hold a morning tea in your workplace, in which your team members can invite older family members or seniors in the community to celebrate and listen to their stories, wisdoms and perspective on things.
Furthermore, offer the older guests some one-on-one support in learning anything they might need help with i.e. using mobile phones, computers, the internet, Wifi etc.
To keep these connections going, you could establish a lunchtime walking group (perhaps once a week or fortnight) with the older people that your workplace has fostered a relationship with.