International Day of Older Persons recognizes contributions to society made by older adults

Star Staff

On Sunday, the Administration for Community Living (ACL) will join communities around the world in observing the International Day of Older Persons. Oct. 1 was designated by the United Nations in 1990 to recognize the vital contributions of older people globally and to encourage member nations to thoughtfully address their increasingly aging populations.

This year, the United Nations has designated the 2017 International Day of Older Persons theme as, “Stepping into the Future: Tapping the Talents, Contributions and Participation of Older Persons in Society.” This topic highlights the benefits that come with supporting the full inclusion of older adults in their communities, workplaces and families, according to a news release from ACL.

Older adults’ contributions to society are many. They are grandparents, parents, great aunts and uncles; they are friends and mentors; they are community leaders and volunteers; they are also elected officials, and critical contributors in the workforce. Communities are stronger when everyone has the opportunity to contribute their talents.

In the United States, 10,000 adults turn 65 every day. Globally, the number of people aged 60 and above is expected to reach 1.4 billion in 2030 and 2 billion in 2050. People must all work together to promote policies that recognize and make use of the experience and capabilities of this growing population. This is particularly true as people are living longer and staying healthier for more of those years.

ACL was created around the fundamental principle that older adults and people with disabilities of all ages should be able to live independently and participate fully in their communities. To that end, ACL advocates for older adults, people of all ages with disabilities, and the people who support them; funds a wide range of services and supports provided by networks of community-based organizations; and invests in research and innovation. To contact ACL visit

ACL programs provide support to caregivers, many of whom are older adults themselves; help older adults manage chronic health conditions, remain physically active, and preserve their overall health; support states in protecting rights and preventing abuse; help older adults maintain control of their own lives, even if they need assistance with some tasks; and much more.