Since 2008, I have been posting an article every year to mark this auspicious day. This year, however, I shall just share this slideshow below from HelpAge International. I am also re-posting an extract from the 2008 article which is still relevant today.
HelpAge International has just launched the report "Ageing in the 21st Century: A Celebration and a Challenge". You can click here to download the report.
(Below: Extract edited and re-posted from 2008 Seniorsaloud article)
Did you know that the United Nations designated 1 October as the International Day of Older Persons? I bet the day came and went like any other day for most senior citizens – uneventful and forgettable. The local media did not deem the day important enough to devote some space to it in their columns. Just goes to show how little attention is paid to this fast-growing segment of society.
Here's my wish list for older persons:
1. Elderly-friendly traffic lights where the green light for pedestrians stays on a little longer to enable older (and slower) persons to cross busy roads safely.
2. More benches at shopping malls where the elderly can rest their tired feet. KLCC is the least shopper-friendly in this aspect.
3. Bigger print on price tags and food labels - the better to see if the product is safe for consumption!
6. Non-slip floors, non-trip pathways and steps in public buildings.
7. Club house cum community centre with full facilities for senior citizens. By the way, there's one nearing completion in Ampang.
8. Restaurants that offer elderly-friendly menus. Think easily digestible, healthy food that have less salt, less sugar, and less fat.
9. Public toilets and urinals with hand rails. Currently these are meant only for the disabled in wheelchairs.
10. Mobile phones with large letters and numbers for easy dialing, and light enough for the pocket.
But over and above all this...
- Remove age discrimination, especially in employment.
- Enable senior citizens to contribute their experience.
- Help end elder abuse.
- Honour and respect older people so they can age with dignity.
Today is International Day of Older Persons, but who cares?