October 1 is observed as the International Day of Older Persons across the globe. The day was introduced by the United Nations General Assembly with an aim of honouring the contribution of older persons and looking into the problems that they face. Older people make significant contributions to society via volunteer work, passing on experience and knowledge, and assisting their families with different responsibilities.
This year’s theme, “Resilience of Older Persons in a Changing World”, reminds us of the significant contributions that older people still have to make in all our lives.Older people must be a priority in our efforts to overcome COVID-19. In keeping with the theme of this year’s commemoration, we must also examine how the pandemic might change how we address age and ageing in our societies.
The day also provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of leaving no one behind, especially in the context of the declaration of 2021-2030 as the UN Decade of Healthy Ageing. Taking cognisance of the voices, perspectives and needs of our elders is critical to the creation of meaningful, holistic policies that advance us towards the achievement of Universal Health Coverage across the continent.