International Day of Older Persons

The International Day of Older Persons is observed annually on October 1 to celebrate the contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness about issues affecting the elderly, such as senescence, Alzheimers, Loss of Mobility, Heart disease, strokes osteoarthritis and elder abuse.

Elder abuse (also called “elder mistreatment,” “senior abuse,” “abuse in later life,” “abuse of older adults,” is “a single, or repeated act, or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to an older person. This definition has been adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO) from a definition put forward by Action on Elder Abuse in the UK. Laws protecting the elderly from abuse are similar to and related to, laws protecting dependent adults from abuse. It includes harms by people the older person knows, or have a relationship with, such as a spouse, partner or family member, a friend or neighbor, or people that the older person relies on for services. Many forms of elder abuse are recognized as types of domestic violence or family violence since they are committed by family members. Paid caregivers have also been known to prey on their elderly patients.

While there are a variety of circumstances considered as elder abuse, it does not include general criminal activity against older persons, such as home break-ins, “muggings” in the street or “distraction burglary”, where a stranger distracts an older person at the doorstep, while another person enters the property to steal.

The abuse of elders by caregivers is a worldwide issue. In 2002, WHO brought international attention to the issue of elder abuse. Over the years, government agencies and community professional groups, worldwide, have specified elder abuse as a social problem. In 2006 the International Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) designated June 15 as World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) and an increasing number of events are held across the globe on this day to raise awareness of elder abuse, and highlight ways to challenge such abuse.

Senescence or biological aging is the gradual deterioration of function characteristic of most complex lifeforms, arguably found in all biological kingdoms, that on the level of the organism increases mortality after maturation. The word senescence can refer either to cellular senescence or to senescence of the whole organism. It is commonly believed that cellular senescence underlies organismal senescence. The science of biological aging is biogerontology.

Senescence is not the inevitable fate of all organisms and can be delayed. The discovery, in 1934, that calorie restriction can extend lifespan by 50% in rats, and the existence of species having negligible senescence and potentially immortal species such as Hydra, have motivated research into delaying and preventing senescence and thus age-related diseases. Organisms of some taxonomic groups, including some animals, experience chronological decrease in mortality, for all or part of their life cycle. On the other extreme are accelerated aging diseases, rare in humans. There is also the extremely rare and poorly understood “Syndrome X,” whereby a person remains physically and mentally an infant or child throughout one’s life. stressful environments may also have an effect on aging.

Even if environmental factors do not cause aging, they may affect it; in such a way, for example, overexposure to ultraviolet radiation also accelerates skin aging. Different parts of the body may age at different rates. Two organisms of the same species can also age at different rates, so that biological aging and chronological aging are quite distinct concepts.

senescence is by far the leading cause of death, although cerebral hypoxia, i.e., lack of oxygen to the brain, is the immediate cause of all human death). Of the roughly 150,000 people who die each day across the globe, about two thirds – 100,000 per day – die of age-related causes. There are a number of hypotheses as to why senescence occurs; for example, some posit it is programmed by gene expression changes, others that it is the cumulative damage caused by biological processes. Whether senescence as a biological process itself can be slowed down, halted or even reversed, is a subject of current scientific speculation and research.

International Day of Older Persons was first observed in 1991 After the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish Resolution 45/106. This holiday is similar to National Grandparents Day in the United States and Canada as well as Double Ninth Festival in China and Respect for the Aged Day in Japan. The observance is a focus of ageing organizations and the United Nations Programme on Ageing.

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