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  • 01 October, 2022

  • 5 Min Read

International Day of the Elderly

International Day of the Elderly

The United Nations observes October 1 as International Day for Older Persons as part of its efforts to raise awareness about healthy ageing.


  • A recent UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA) report, "World Population Prospects 2022," predicted significant shifts in global demographic patterns in the coming decades.
  • According to the report, people over the age of 65 will account for 16% of the global population by 2050.
  • By 2050, India's population will have surpassed that of China to become the world's most populous country.
  • By 2050, eight countries, including India, will account for more than half of the world's growing population.

World population demographics

  • Between 1950 and 2010, global life expectancy increased from 46 to 68 years. In 2019, there were 703 million people worldwide who were 65 or older.
  • The region of Eastern and South-Eastern Asia had the most elderly people, followed by Europe and Northern America.
  • Over the next three decades, the global population of older people is expected to more than double, reaching more than 1.5 billion by 2050.
  • Between 2019 and 2050, all regions will see an increase in the number of older people. The greatest increase is expected in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia.

What are the issues at stake?

  • This demographic shift will have a significant impact on the country's healthcare systems.
  • The elderly have a higher prevalence of noncommunicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, as well as disabilities related to vision, hearing, or mobility.
  • The shift in demographic structure will put additional strain on public health systems that are not designed to provide universal health care in addition to social security measures such as old-age and disability pensions.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities, with the last three years focusing on the socioeconomic, environmental, health, and climate-related impacts on the lives of older people, particularly older women, who make up the majority of older people.
  • The Indian economy must continue to mitigate the fiscal costs associated with an increasing old-age dependency ratio.

The elderly population must be protected.

  • Elders have a wealth of knowledge and experience. They contribute to the workplace on a macro and financial level, and on a local level to their communities and individual networks in terms of experience.
  • They can provide an important generational link for the next generation, such as support and stability to families and society as a whole.
  • They aid in the transmission of values and morals to the next generation. As a result, we are helping to raise better people and responsible citizens.
  • Informally, many older people contribute to the economy by caring for their grandchildren or other family members.

Schemes for the welfare of the elerdy

The Government of India is implementing various schemes and programmes to provide senior citizens with a healthy, happy, empowered, dignified, and self-sufficient life, as well as strong social and intergenerational bonding.

AVYAY (Atal Vayo Abhyudaya Yojana):

  • It falls under the Department of Social Justice and Empowerment's Central Sector Scheme.
  • AVYAY articulates each of the current schemes, future plans, strategies, and targets and maps them to schemes/programs, accountabilities, financials, and clear outcomes.
  • This Plan addresses the top four needs of senior citizens: financial security, food, health care, and human interaction/a dignified life.

National Social Assistance Programme (NSAP):

  • Under the Ministry of Rural Development, this programme provides financial assistance ranging from Rs.200/- to Rs.500/- per month to elderly, widows, and disabled people who are below the poverty line (BPL) and meet the eligibility criteria prescribed in the NSAP guidelines. In the event of the breadwinner's death, the bereaved family receives a lump sum of Rs.20,000/-.

The National Programme for the Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE)

  • It was launched in 2010-11 with the primary goal of providing comprehensive and dedicated health care facilities to elderly people over the age of 60 at various levels of primary, secondary, and tertiary health care.

International Efforts:

International Day of the Elderly

  • Every year on October 1st, this holiday is observed.
  • The theme for 2022 is Resilience of Older People in a Changing World.
  • The United Nations General Assembly declared October 1 as International Day of Older Persons (resolution 45/106) on December 14, 1990.
  • This was preceded by initiatives such as the Vienna International Plan of Action on Ageing, which was adopted by the World Assembly on Ageing in 1982 and endorsed by the UN General Assembly later that year.
  • The United Nations Principles for Older Persons were adopted by the General Assembly in 1991 (resolution 46/91). The Madrid International Plan of Action on Ageing was adopted by the Second World Assembly on Ageing in 2002 to respond to the opportunities and challenges of population ageing in the twenty-first century and to promote the development of a society for the elderly.

Source: The Hindu

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