International Day of Older Persons

By Kevin McKay

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Following a United Nations resolution in December of 1990, the world has been pausing to recognize and celebrate the importance of seniors every October 1st since the first International Day of Older Persons in 1991.

The celebrations take place world-wide and, in many countries, politicians – particularly those responsible for seniors’ issues – make appearances, sometimes giving speeches. In many places, local media outlets will do interviews or stories on seniors who have made an impact on the community and can speak to the significance of accomplishments seniors make.

There are a wide variety of activities planned around the world including lunches, entertainment, information sessions, parties and intergenerational activities with local youth among others.

The United Nations promotes this event through the World Health Organization, which encourages everyone in the world to make sure seniors are not forgotten or left behind. The focus of the day is often on topics such as healthcare, housing, volunteer opportunities, and other issues important to seniors. The following communities are planning activities on or around the International Day of Older Persons in 2013.

Vancouver - The Roundhouse Community Centre in Yaletown will be celebrating with a free social featuring refreshments and cake. They expect one of the Parks Board commissioners to join them for the festivities.

North Vancouver - Parkgate Community Centre will be hosting an event whereby seniors are invited to bring a friend as when they buy one lunch they receive one for free. There will also be entertainment provided.

West Vancouver - The West Vancouver Seniors Centre will be hosting a special “Participation is Ageless” dinner from 5:00-7:30 pm featuring prizes and fun entertainment. Transportation to the dinner is available to West Vancouver residents and the dinner will cost approximately $12 per person. Call Joni for details at 604-925-7211.

New Westminster - Century House the NW Seniors Advisory Committee, Seniors Planning Action Network and the Senior Services Society are hosting a Seniors Festival on Saturday, October 5, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Seniors can try out fitness and dance activities, painting, participate in workshops, receive instructions on Facebook and Translink and more. Food and entertainment will also be included at this free event.

Events to commemorate and celebrate the International Day of Older Persons are also being planned in Burnaby at Edmonds Community Centre, Victoria at the Cook Street Village Activity Centre, Port Alberni at the Echo Sunshine Club and in Delta at the McKee Seniors Centre and the Kennedy Seniors Centre. Details will be available in early September, so contact the centres in your community to see how they plan to celebrate.



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