Thursday, 30 September 2010

Happy International Day of Older People!

Bet you missed the fact that today we celebrate Older People!

So I bring you a message from the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-Moon;

“This day marks the twentieth anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons. Older persons play an invaluable role in all societies — as leaders, caregivers and volunteers — yet are also vulnerable to discrimination, abuse, neglect and violence."

So there! All that " new generation " stuff in Ed's speech indeed. And my answer to my Deputy who was joking he might be unveiling a banner in the ACEVO office " New Generation- Time for Change". Humph.

But I really dislike the message from the UN. It stereotypes older people. Notice the emphasise on carers and vulnerability . Actually , older people also continue to work. They play an important part in communities and third sector organistions and the economy generally ,not as carers or recipeints of services, but as wise and experienced decision makers.

The West has an appaling attitude to older people. They are generally regarded as a burden. A problem. Not as a source of huge skill and experience. China and Japan have a much cleverer attitude to " elders". We could learn from them.

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