Seniors will be recognized and celebrated around the globe today, which is the United Nations International Day of Older Persons.
Donna Durand, the Executive Director at the Alberta Council on Aging, says it is critical for communities to be senior friendly.
“Are things easy to see? Are they easy to use? Are they easy to understand? In inclusive communities, this just benefits all of us. When we don’t have these things in mind, it becomes really quite challenging to mobilize within our communities.”
There are many myths and stereotypes surrounding seniors, like they can no longer contribute or they need to get out of the way of younger people in the workforce, and this day is to remind everyone that is not true.
“We hear about the age wave, and I think there is some education required around that so we don’t fear that age wave, we actually press in on it, understand the challenges that will come with that, the strengths that come with that. On this day, we recognize the contributions older people have made, will continue to make and how they will influence us in the future,” explained Durand.
“Fundamentally, we need all of us. Clean air, water, food. But we need access to comprehensive health care, medication, housing, transportation, social programs and an income source.”
The Alberta Council on Aging states in a release “We must approach elder abuse head on by combatting ageisms and dispelling myths.”