International Day of Older Persons is celebrated on October 01, 2019. This day was initiated by the United Nations in 1990 to honor the efforts of the elderly and the value they bring to society. Today, 900 million people are over 60 years old. By 2050, it is estimated that 2 billion people (about 22% of the world’s population) will be over 60. Between 1950 and 2010, the average life expectancy rose from 46-68. People over 60 serve society as leaders of countries, businesses, educational efforts, and spiritual growth. They often care for and educate young children in the home, care for sick family members and mentor young adults. But many face challenges with health that limit their activities and sometimes their cognition. These elders need access to medical care, food, decent housing that meets their physical limitations, transportation and social activities that keep them engaged in life. Listening to the lived experiences of elders, showing them love, supporting their needs, and gleaning their wisdom enrich all of us. This is a day to celebrate those among us who have lived a long life and whose lives have been spent nurturing, caring, learning and loving. It is a day for honoring, respecting, listening to and providing for the elderly in our midst.
Holy One, bless those in our midst who are elderly. Protect them and bless them with love, safety, security and peace. Surround them with loving family, friends, and neighbors who are willing to listen to their stories, treasure their wisdom and pass on their legacy. For those elderly who are alone, neglected, abandoned or ill, grant them the gift of at least one person who is willing to reach out to them in love.