In 1990 the United Nations unanimously declared 1 October as the International Day of Older Persons.
York Older People’s Assembly celebrates this day every year and incorporates it into the 50 plus festival.
Unfortunately, this year because of the coronavirus we are not holding a festival but are aiming to educate and inform people about the significant benefits that older people add to society.
The theme this year is – Pandemics: do they change how we address age and ageing?
There is no doubt that there have been significant changes because of the coronavirus pandemic. In the UK, some 25,000 older people died in care homes. The number of excess deaths in the UK is over 65,000 and 80% of those are over 65 years of age.
One of the consequences of these deaths is that in many cases elderly couples have been split and one of them has been left to mourn the death of their partner. In addition to normal grieving there have been the pressures of many people having to shield during the lockdown.
The lifestyle of many has been changed and the impact on individuals has increased isolation and feelings of loneliness while the lack of face to face communication has caused even more distress.
Grandparents have not been able to hug their grandchildren and in many cases, people haven’t seen their grandchildren or children for six months and this has brought extra pressure on people living on their own.
All of these are big issues and we will aim to discuss them in the coming weeks and months so that we can plan some actions to address them.
Join the Zoom meetings
For the International Day of Older Persons this year we are supporting three Zoom meetings on Thursday (1 October) with the opportunity for discussion and debate from some of our partners. Please email the relevant address if you wish to join in.
Older People’s Peer Support Group
Contact: Sue Lister: [email protected] 01904 488870
The aim is to bring together grassroots peer support groups in the York area to share how they began and how they operate. The focus is on the resourcefulness of older people.
YOPA – Pandemics and Ageing
Contact: Jim Cannon: [email protected]
A panel of speakers talking about the coronavirus and impact on ageing including service delivery by local charities. We will also be discussing Online: Our Choice covering some of the options to help communications.
Jim Cannon is chair of the York Older People’s Assembly