The International Day of Older Persons is fast approaching! Every October 1st, the world comes together to celebrate the lives of our elderly generation, who make up 9% of the global population. Dedicated to our elders, to acknowledge their wisdom, experience, and contributions to society, it’s a day to give back to those who have given decades to us.
International Day of Older Persons was officiated by the UN in 1991. In New Zealand, our elderly population is expected to increase from 16% to 21-26% by 2048. With elderly making up an increasingly significant chunk of our population, it is more important than ever to appreciate our senior citizens.
This year’s theme is ‘The resilience and contributions of older women’. It celebrates the resilience and perseverance of our elderly women in the face of gender inequality throughout their lifetime.
Whether it be family or friends, men or women, here is how you can celebrate your loved kaumātua this October.
Spend time with them
At Radius Care, we encourage family and friends to spend as much time with loved ones as possible. They are welcome to join in on meals with the residents, and staff often host celebrations in collaboration with families. No matter how hectic life gets, you can always come for a visit at your own time and remain an integral part of their support system.
Sit down for a cuppa and a chat with your parents, grandparents, aunties, or uncles and learn all about the wisdom they have to offer. Whether in person or digitally, reminiscing on past experiences and life lessons is a special way to show the seniors in your life that you care. Perhaps you could flick through photo albums from their childhood or listen to their favourite record.
Whether your loved one is at home or in a care home, getting involved in their hobbies is a great way to show you care. This could be gardening, bingo, painting, knitting, playing cards, or reading with them. Showing interest in their hobbies and pastimes lets them feel acknowledged and valued. Fun doesn’t stop when you get older. In fact, our Activities Co-ordinators and Physical Therapists spend their days supporting resident’s hobbies from arts and crafts to gardening and dancing.
Write a letter
When was the last time you wrote a letter instead of emailing? If you can’t be with them in person this Elders Day, consider sending your loved one a handwritten letter, with reasons why you appreciate them. Creating a special keepsake for them to cherish is a great gift to show you care.
Cook them a meal
Cooking together is a great way to spend the day if you can be with them in person. Consider cooking them their favourite dish from their childhood or trying a beloved recipe that was passed down the generations. Whether it’s a Sunday roast or an apple pie, nothing shows appreciation more than a nice homecooked meal made with love. Here at Radius Care, providing food that is tasty and nutritious is a priority, with our kitchens catering for a variety of dietary requirements. Serving three hearty, healthy meals alongside snacks throughout the day, from fish and chip Fridays to Sunday roasts, there is something available for every resident to enjoy. Our chefs also put on special meals for occasions – such as the ever-popular high teas.
It is important that our growing elderly generations knows that their contributions are valued, and that they feel appreciated. This October, and all other eleven months of the year, take the time to show the elders in your life how much you care for them.