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Essay on “International Day for The Elderly – October 1” Complete Essay for Class 10, Class 12 and Graduation and other classes.

International Day for The Elderly – October 1

International Day for the Elderly is dedicated to honor, respect and care for the world’s elder people. Remember, someday you will be included among this group. In 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1st as the International Day for the Elderly, also known as the “International Day for Older Persons”. In 1992, the Assembly adopted a strategy for decade _ 1992-2001, including the International Year of Older Persons 1999.

By the end of the century, 20 years will have been added to the average life span. This longevity is one of the greatest achievements of the twentieth century and is resulting in a dramatic increase, in the world’s older population. Generally, in the course of a few generations, the proportion of older persons of age 60 and above to the overall population is increasing approximately from 1 in 14 to 1 in 4.

Recognizing ageing as one of the major factors and, at the same time, challenges of the twentieth century, the United Nations convened the World Assembly on Aging in 1982, and, in the same year, the General Assembly endorsed the International Plan of Action on the International Day for the Elderly.

The overall objective for the International Year of Older Persons 1999 is to promote the 18 United Nations Principles for Older Persons and to translate them into policies, practical programs and actions. The Principles are organized into five clusters: independence, participation, care, self-fulfillment, and dignity.

 The unifying theme for the Year encompasses the four dimensions of the framework and allows priority to be given to promoting the United Nations Principles for Older Persons, the Year’s objective. The concept of “a society for a society for all ages” provides such an integrative theme.

The theme of 2006

The theme of 16th annual celebration is “Improving the Quality of Life for Older Persons: Advancing UN Global Strategies.” In support of the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and in line, with the recommendations of the Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing the theme draws attention to policies and programmes to enhance the quality of life, participation and engagement of older persons in the social, economic and political spheres of their societies.

Today, one person in every ten is 60 years and older. By 2050, one out of every five will be an older person, and by 2150, one third of the people in the world is expected to be 60 years of age or older. In our fast ageing world, older people will increasingly play a critical role – through volunteer work, transmitting experience and knowledge, helping their families with caring responsibilities and increasing their participation in the paid labour force.

Message of the UN secretary-general, Kofi Annan, on the International day of older persons, 1 October 2006

“As people across the globe come to live increasingly longer lives, our entire human family has a stake in encouraging and easing a productive, active, and healthy ageing process. The whole world stands to gain from an empowered older generation, with the potential to make tremendous contributions to the development process and to the work of building more productive, peaceful, and sustainable societies”.

 That is why the theme of this year’s International Day of Older Persons is “Improving the Quality of Life for Older Persons”. It is a call to all communities to work for policies and programmes that will enable older persons to live in an environment that enhances their capabilities, fosters their independence, and provides them with adequate support and care as they age.

That means ensuring housing, transportation, and other living conditions that allow people to maintain their independence for as long as possible, and ‘age in place’ — yet remain active within their own communities. Equally important, it means recognizing and respecting the dignity, authority, wisdom, and productivity of older persons in all societies, particularly in their roles as volunteers and multi-generational caregivers and that, in turn, means promoting a more positive image of ageing.

18 Principles for Older Persons

To add life to the years that have been added to life, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the following eighteen Principles for Older Persons on 16 December 1991.


  1. Older Persons should have access to adequate food, water, shelter, clothing and health care through the provision of income, family and community support and self-help.
  2. Older Persons should have the opportunity to work or to have access to other income generating opportunities.
  3. Older Persons should be able to participate in determining when and at what pace withdrawal from the labour force takes place.
  4. Older Persons should have access to appropriate educational and training programmes.
  5. Older Persons should be able to live in environments that are safe and adaptable to personal preferences and changing capacities.
  6. Older Persons should be able to reside at home as long as possible.


  1. Older Persons should remain integrated in society, participate actively in the formulation and implementation of policies that directly affect their well-being and share their knowledge and skills with younger generations.
  2. Older Persons should be able to seek and develop opportunities for service to the community and do service as volunteers in positions appropriate to their interest and capabilities.
  3. Older Persons should be able to form movements or associations of Older Persons.


  1. Older Persons should benefit from family and community care and protection in accordance with each society’s system of cultural values.
  2. Older Persons should have access to health care to help them to maintian or regain the optimum level of physical, mental and emotional well-being and to prevent or delay the onset of illness.
  3. Older Persons should have access to social and legal services to enhance their autonomy, protection and care.
  4. Older Persons should be able to utilize appropriate levels of institutional care providing protection, rehabilitation and social and mental stimulation in a humane and secure environment.
  5. Older Persons should be able to enjoy human rights and fundamental freedom when residing in any shelter, care or treatment facility, including full respect for their dignity, beliefs, needs and privacy and for the right to make decisions about their care and the quality of their lives.


  1. Older Persons should be able to pursue opportunities for the full development of their potential.
  2. Older Persons should have access to the educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational resources of society.


  1. Older Persons should be able to live in dignity and security and be free of exploitation and physical or mental abuse.
  2. Older Persons should be treated fairly regardless of age, gender, racial or ethnic background, disability or other status, and be valued independently of their economic contribution.

The Ageing of the World’s Population Over the past few years, the world’s population has continued on its remarkable transition path from a state of high birth and death rates to one characterized by low birth and death rates. At the heart of that trans ion has been the growth in the number and proportion of older persons. Such rapid, large and ubiquitous growth has never been seen in the history of civilization.

The current demographic revolution is predicted to continue well into the coming centuries. Its major features include the following:

  • One out of every ten persons is now 60 years or above; by 2050, one out of five will be 60 years or older.
  • The majority of older persons (55 percent) are women. Among the oldest old, 65 percent are women.
  • As the tempo of ageing in developing countries is more rapid than in developed countries, developing countries will have less time than the developed countries to adapt to the consequences of population ageing.
  • The majority of the world’s older persons (51 percent) live in urban areas. By 2025 this is expected to climb to 62 percent of older persons, although large differences exist between more and less developed regions. In developed regions, 74 percent of older persons are urban dwellers, while in less developed regions, which remain predominantly rural, 37 percent of older persons reside in urban areas.
  • The impact of population ageing is increasingly evident in the old-age dependency ratio, the number of working age persons (age 15 – 64 years) per older person (65 years or older) that is used as an indicator of the `dependency burden’ on potential workers. Between 2000 and 2050, the old-age dependency ratio will double in more developed regions and triple in less developed regions. The potential socioeconomic impact on society that may result from an increasing old-age dependency ratio is an area of growing research and public debate.

Supporting Measures

Ageing is a universal, phenomenon. It brings about certain anatomical, physiological, psychological changes in life. It is also one of the most important demographic and epidemiological transitions caused by enormous improvement in public health, medical treatment, and socio-economic factors such as education, income, better nutrition and living conditions as well as technological advancement. These improvements have resulted in a spectacular reduction in death rates at all ages, raising the life expectancy.

The government is offering rebate on income tax to the people aged 65 or more. The Ministry of Railways has extended 25% concession in II class tickets under “Senior Citizen Concession” scheme. Further, a provision has been made by the Indian Railways to allot lower berths to the senior citizens.

The old people require good housing conditions, a balanced diet, reduction of physical and mental strain, efficient geriatric services, home care services and meals on wheels services. The specific preventive measures required by the aged persons are periodic health checkups, proper and adequate treatment, avoidance of injuries etc.

It is our duty to resist old age, to compensate for its defects by a watchful care, to fight against it as we would fight against diseases to adopt a regimen to health, to practice moderate exercise, said Cicero — the Roman thinker.

An awareness campaign through information, education and communication activities should be carried out vigorously regarding the importance of aerobic exercises in daily life. If the elderly people are aware and practicing regular exercises, they can keep themselves not only physically and mentally fit but also independent. If followed, we can minimize the sufferings of elderly population and provide them an opportunity to enjoy more stimulating environment and healthy ageing with the motto “To Serve Not to be Served”.


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