International Day of Older Persons gives us the chance to highlight the contributions elderly persons make to society as well as raise awareness of the challenges of ageing in today’s world. The United Nations highlights that between 2015 and 2030 the number of people aged 60 and above is expected to increase from 901 million to 1.4 billion.
The theme for the day this year is ‘The Journey to Age Equality’ which draws attention to the existence of inequalities that older persons face and calls for societal and structural changes to protect elderly persons, including the provision of universal health coverage.
At Carers Worldwide, we understand the challenges that an ageing population will bring. People are living longer lives yet are spending more years of their lives living with disabilities and ailments that become common with old age. As people continue to live longer, there will be an increase in the number of persons relying on a family carer which makes it even more essential for the role of caring to be formally recognised and for measures to be in place to protect the wellbeing of carers. Elderly people do not only require care but many are carers themselves. Through our work we have found many cases of elderly persons being carers for other relatives such as 75-year old Shivamma from Kestur village in the State of Karnataka. She is the carer of her younger brother who had a stroke and who requires assistance with tasks such as moving around and washing. He does not have a wheelchair which makes mobility very challenging. Shivamma struggles with the physical demands of her caring role and finds the role very tiring.
Through our new project in collaboration with NGO Margadarshi, we will take steps to provide support and assistance to Shivamma and her brother in order to improve both of their lives.
As people continue to live longer, we think it’s important that more people become aware of the caring challenges associated with an ageing population. Help us increase this awareness by sharing this article across your Social Media platforms today.