October 1st, International Day of Older Persons
Did you know? In 1982, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing. On December 14, 1990, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons.
This date provides an opportunity to raise public awareness of ageing and the conditions of isolated older persons. Throughout the world, members and partners of the International Federation of Petits Freres des Pauvres celebrate this day.
In France, the Petits Frères des Pauvres France, wishes to raise public awareness of the isolation of the elderly by asking people to imagine if the last quarter of the year (which begins on October 1st) were without any social contact. For isolated elderly people over 60 years old, during the last quarter of their lives they are deprived of any social ties. This campaign will be done through radio spots, press articles and via the web.
In Hungary, the association Idosek Baratai, also wants to raise public awareness about the importance of helping elderly people who live in loneliness, by broadcasting an advertisement read by well-known elderly actors on the two tramway lines crossing the capital and frequented by 200,000 people a day. The ad invites the public to pay attention and to share a kind message with the elderly.
In Germany, Freunde alter Menschen proposes various actions : stroll with meals on boats reserved for elderly people and distribution of flowers by volunteers in 4 places very frequented, as a sign of gratitude to the elderly. In Belgium, the association Bras dessus Bras dessous, will distribute flowers to the general public with the message “simple as a flower”, in favor of the elderly.
In Poland, the association Mali bracia Ubogich is sending postcards with messages dedicated to the elderly. In Krakow, it sponsors the Musica divina festival. At the national level, a press campaign to raise awareness of the cause of the elderly will be run.
Given the restrictions on visiting seniors in the United States, the Little Brother Friends of the Elderly organizations are adapting. In Chicago, flyers will be sent to all the volunteers so that they can transfer them to all their acquaintances, via social networks, to raise awareness about the fight against loneliness of the elderly. In Boston, it will be the participation in a conference with other associations in charge of the fight against the isolation of the elderly. In Upper Michigan it will be visits outside or through the door, to bring flowers and a calendar. In San Francisco, during the month of October, it is proposed to follow a virtual evening at home with Dr. Louise Aronson, author of “Redefining Aging, Transforming Medicine, Re-imagining Life” and a virtual charity concert.
Similarly in Mexico, the association Amigos de los mayores Mexico will participate in two conferences on the theme of isolation of the elderly.
In Ireland, Friends of the elderly, invites students to dedicate their half day to contact an older person in their entourage, even their grandparents, in order to make them aware of the loneliness and isolation in their family and loved ones, and therefore of the necessary efforts to fight against it. In addition, the association will distribute books to keep people busy during the winter.
All over the world, members and partners of the International Federation mark the day of October 1st with a special action. In several countries, there will be a distribution of flowers to the elderly. This day should not make us forget that the fight against the isolation of the elderly is a daily necessity.
Photos credit: Petits Freres des Pauvres