Between 2017 and 2030, the number of persons aged 60 years or over is projected to grow by 46 per cent (from 962 million to 1.4 billion) globally outnumbering youth, as well as children under the age of 10. Moreover, this increase will be the greatest and most rapid in the developing world Population ageing is poised to become one of the most significant social transformations of the 21st century.
Older people have always played a significant role in society as leaders, caretakers and custodians of tradition. Yet they are also highly vulnerable, with many falling into poverty, becoming disabled or facing discrimination. As health care improves, the population of older people is growing. Their needs are also growing, as are their contributions to the world.
The International Day of Older Persons is an opportunity to highlight the important contributions that older people make to society and raise awareness of the opportunities and challenges of ageing in today’s world.
2019 Theme: “The Journey to Age Equality”
The 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) recognize that development will only be achievable if it is inclusive of all ages. Empowering older persons in all dimensions of development, including promoting their active participation in social, economic and political life, is one way to ensure their inclusiveness and reduce inequalities.
The 2019 theme is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal 10 (SDG 10) and focuses on pathways of coping with existing — and preventing future — old age inequalities. SDG 10 sets to reduce inequality within — and among — countries, and aims to “ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome,” including through measures to eliminate discrimination, and to “empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.”
Often, disparities in old age reflect an accumulated disadvantage characterized by factors such as: location, gender, socio‐economic status, health and income. Between 2015 and 2030, the number of people aged 60 and over is expected to increase from 901 million to 1.4 billion. In this regard, trends of ageing and economic inequality interact across generations and rapid population ageing, demographic and societal or structural changes alone, can exacerbate older age inequalities, thereby limiting economic growth and social cohesion.
In the Republic of North Macedonia, the phenomenon of regional aging of the rural population is typical due to the intensive migration of the young productive population in the rural-urban direction. .
In general, in the age structure, the Macedonian population is getting older. In the Republic of North Macedonia out of the total population, the number of elderly in 2015 was 264,964, while the number of elderly in 2017 increased to 272,234.
In the Republic of North Macedonia the burden of chronic diseases covers a wide range of negative health consequences. People living with one or more chronic illnesses often reduce their quality of life, generally reflecting a long period of decline and disability associated with the disease.
The 2019 theme aims to:
- Draw attention to the existence of old age inequalities and how this often results from a cumulation of disadvantages throughout life, and highlight intergenerational risk of increased old age inequalities.
- Bring awareness to the urgency of coping with existing — and preventing future — old age inequalities.
- Explore societal and structural changes in view of life course policies: life-long learning, proactive and adaptive labour policies, social protection and universal health coverage.
- Reflect on best practices, lessons and progress on the journey to ending older age inequalities and changing negative narratives and stereotypes involving “old age”
With healthy aging, more precisely by preventing those processes and actions that accelerate aging, opportunities are created for living as long as possible with active physical and mental life. For now, it has been proven with certainty that in the absence of disease, weight regulation and controlled physical activity greatly enhance the quality of life of the adult population.