Thursday, October 6, 2011

Celebrating International Day of Older Persons

The following is a news release from MCCL GO.

Today, Oct. 6, 2011, has been declared the International Day of Older Persons by the United Nations. It is a day to focus on the issues of aging and demographics and to celebrate the treasures that older persons are in every society around the globe.

According to the July 2011 United Nations Report of the Secretary General, Follow-Up to the Second World Assembly on Aging:
"The composition of the world population has changed dramatically in recent decades. Between 1950 and 2010 life expectancy worldwide rose from 46 to 68 years, and it is projected to increase to 81 by the end of the century.

"For the first time in human history, in 2050 there will be more persons over 60 than children in the world. Almost 700 million people are now over the age of 60. By 2050, 2 billion people, over 20 percent of the world’s population, will be 60 or older."
With this demographic information in mind, some are beginning to question the worth and dignity of older persons. It has even been suggested that older persons are a "burden" to societies.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," said Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Global Outreach (MCCL GO). "Older persons ought to be protected with the full weight of national laws ensuring their right to life."

Older persons face greater challenges today than ever before, as is highlighted in a U.N. press release quoting the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the Right to Health Anand Grover.

"As we take note of the International Day of Older Persons, let us together find ways to ensure that our older persons have the legal rights and protections they need to live out their natural lives," Fischbach added.