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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.

an­gela.kennedy@ar­chant.co.uk

terry.red­head@ar­chant.co.uk

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