On 14 December 1990, the United Nations General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons (resolution 45/106). This year’s United Nations theme is ‘Fulfilling the Promises of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for Older Persons: Across Generations’. It highlights the importance of ensuring older people can enjoy their rights and fundamental freedoms.
Globally, the number of older people (defined as those aged 65 years or older) tripled from around 260 million in 1980 to 761 million in 2021.
Since 1991 the general Australian population has aged, with those aged over 70 years old rising from 10% to 15%.
In the same period, the percentage over church attenders over 70 has increased from 16% in 1991 to 36% in 2021.
Church attendees in Australia are more likely to be aged over 60 (48%) than the population at large (26%).
Churches are enriched by older people who watch faithfully for where God is leading and nurture others across the generations. We take a moment today to give thanks for their wisdom, many gifts and loving care – and to give thanks to God who calls people of all ages to abundant life and wholeness.
The first Sunday in October is the suggested day to celebrate, but you can celebrate on any day that suits your community!