Helpage Saint Lucia National Council of and for Older Persons joins fellow Saint Lucians and the rest of the world in observing United Nations International Day for Older Persons (October 1) being held this year under the theme, “Take a Stand Against Ageism”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is working together with partners and different organizations and Helpage Saint National Council of and for Older Persons in Saint Lucia to commemorate this day and raise awareness for continuing challenges facing older people.
Ageism is everywhere, yet it is the most socially-normalized of any prejudice for older people. Ageism is an everyday thing, yet it is heart-breaking challenge for many who are over looked for employment, restricted from social services. Many people and organizations even marginalize and exclude older people in their communities.
More concerning is that older people who internalize ageist attitudes die sooner. Research reveals that older people who have negative attitudes towards aging live eight years shorter than those with positive attitudes and have poor recovery for diseases.
This year, we challenge everyone to identify these internalized ageist attitudes and to understand the serious impact that these attitudes have. This International Day of Older Persons is an opportunity to stimulate discussion among all stakeholders on progress in implementing the Madrid Plan in line with the Millennium Development Goals and Broader UN Development Agenda.
All NGOs, older people and their organizations are being urged to seize this opportunity, today and in the month ahead. Together, taking a balanced approach to both the challenges and opportunities of aging, we will be able to give life to our shared vision of a society for all ages.
In reference to the United Nations Population overview on aging, at present the global population make up of 12.3% of people 60 and older and this figure is expected to rise to almost 22% by 2050. This is due mainly to a number of factors, such as better health care services, nutrition, education sanitation and economic well-being.
It is for this reason that these five young ladies are taking a stand against ageism by participating in the Miss Club 60 Pageant under the theme, “Sixty, Sassy and Stunning”. The event, which will be held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) on Sunday, October 9 from 2:00 p.m., will highlight contestants from various communities across the island.
The contestants are Patricia Joseph (Babonneau), Paula Gibson (Castries), Vera Jn. Baptiste (Desruisseaux), Mary Francois (Mabouya Valley) and Theresa Howell (Dennery).
These ladies will grace the audience with their talents, creativity, drama, dance and their elegance on stage and we encourage Saint Lucians to come out and support the social event.