International Day of Older Persons is a special day worldwide, to showcase the spirit and contribution of older people in a changing and challenging world. The United Nations (UN) marks this day by encouraging countries to draw attention to, and challenge, negative stereotypes, and misconceptions about older people, and to allow older people to live well and realise their potential. Of course, it’s also a chance to share memories, desires, and celebrate older people!
This year’s theme – The Resilience and Contributions of Older Women
The recent pandemic has worsened existing inequalities for many, but has significantly impacted the lives of older people, especially older women who make up the majority of older people worldwide. Older women continue to meaningfully contribute to their communities both socially and politically, but often their contributions and experiences remain invisible and underappreciated. In addition, they often face discrimination including negative stereotypes that combine ageism and sexism.
This theme serves as reminder of the vital contributions of older women, and encourages the world to hear their voices, perspectives and needs, and create meaningful changes to improve a rounded response to local and global challenges. It is an opportunity to showcase older women’s contributions, while promoting conversations on ways to improve the protection of older people’s human rights and recognise their contributions.
In Wales and Conwy County there are many festivities, award ceremonies and social events taking place to mark the UN International Day of Older Persons. As coordinator of the Older People’s Forum, I would like to applaud the forum members, and tip my red hat (see article on page 9), to all the female forum members and the older women of Conwy. Older People are the foundation of our community, and truly inspirational. It is a privilege to be part of the forums, a group of smart, funny, warm, and incredible people – from whom I have so much to learn.