President Jacob Zuma wishes older persons well over the weekend

President Jacob Zuma has wished all senior citizens well over the weekend as the country joins the world in celebrating the International Day of Older Persons on Saturday 1 October and Grandparents Day on Sunday 2 October 2016.

The theme of the 2016 United Nations International Day of Older Persons (UNIDOP) is “Take a Stand Against Ageism”. It draws attention to and challenges negative stereotypes and misconceptions about older persons and ageing.

President Zuma appeals to families and communities to use this weekend to highlight care and support to older persons.

“Older persons play a critical role in families in our country. Many orphans and vulnerable children are cared for by grandparents, who continue this caring role beyond their own biological children. In this manner they play an important role in building more supportive households. Their pension money supports households given the rate of unemployment. Let us make both the International Day of Older Persons on Saturday and Grandparents Day on Sunday special days for all our senior citizens. May their experience and wisdom continue to inspire and guide us,” said President Zuma.

The United Nations says on the international theme;” Ageism is a widely prevalent and prejudicial attitude that stems from the assumption that age discrimination, and sometimes neglect and abuse of older persons is a social norm and therefore, acceptable. It is a reality in some form in all societies, and finds expression in individuals’ attitudes, institutional and policy practices, as well as media representation that devalue and exclude older persons. Such discrimination shapes how older persons are treated and perceived by their societies, including in medical settings and workplaces, creating environments that limit older persons’ potential and impact their health and well-being. The failure to tackle ageism undermines older persons’ rights and hinders their contributions to social, economic, cultural and political life”.

Source: Government of South Africa.