An introduction to Let’s Talk
October 1 is International Day of Older Persons 2017.
The aim of the day, organised by the United Nations, is to raise awareness of the impact of an ageing population and the need to ensure people can grow old with dignity and continue in society as citizens with full rights.
Over the next 50 years, the number of older people in the world will grow from about 600 million to almost two billion.
Today, one in 10 is aged 60 or over. By 2050, it will be one in five and by 2150, it will be one in three.
The 2017 theme will explore effective means of promoting and strengthening the participation of older people in aspects of social, cultural, economic, civic and political life.
It’s all good for us oldies. But do we really need a day to celebrate our age?
I’m not decrying the idea and if it does good anywhere in the world then that’s great.
Getting old, however, is something that doesn’t bother me in the slightest.
“There’s no point worrying about things you can’t change,” someone once told me. He was right.
And as I tell my sons when they joke about my increasing years: “I don’t mind getting older; it’s the better of the two options I have available!”
The good thing about getting older is that your family tends to increase. Your own little ones, before long, may become parents of their own.
And if you are lucky, you then become a grandparent.
For me, being Grandad is a wonderful role. You get to do all the good things. You are allowed, within limits, to spoil the little ones. You get to read bedtime stories; you get to teach them ‘naughty’ things their parents would not want them to know; you get to treat them to chocolate ice cream and don’t have to clean up the mess; and you get to pass them back to Mum and Dad when they have worn you down.
I was lucky a few weeks ago to become a grandad again. I can thoroughly recommend it.
Older Persons’ Day? Bring it on. I hope I stay around long enough to celebrate many more of them.