To mark Older People’s Day 2019, Sally Nicholson, Riverside’s Head of Operations, explains why it is important that we all celebrate the achievements and contribution older people make in our communities.
Today, October 1, is the celebration of older people and the contribution they make to our society. As many of us are aware, the number of people in the UK older than 105 has doubled since 2002, which means that the number of centenarians is now a whopping 13,170 according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. And as a result of people living longer it is estimated that by 2035 the number of people aged 65 and over will equate to 23% of the UK population.
But at what age do people visualise as being old? Those who are 60 to 65-years-young are usually eligible to receive senior social benefit. However, when you talk to people under 30 they believe that old age strikes around 60, whereas middle aged folk think that old age starts around 70.
Nevertheless whatever the number that people think old age hits us, it is important that we all celebrate our elders and recognise their accumulated wisdom – to me they are ‘experts’ on living as they have lived a life full of experiences.
With this, Riverside will be celebrating the day in our Retirement Living schemes up and down the country. But this is nothing out of the ordinary in what we do, as we have a Health and Wellbeing Service who regularly put together fun events so our residents living in Retirement Living schemes have the opportunity to come together with their neighbours to enjoy each other’s company. Tea parties, lunches, quiz, barbecues, music and craft sessions are just some of the activities held throughout the year.
Older People’s Day for me is about recognising the very valuable contribution that older people make to our society every day. It’s also an opportunity for me to reflect and celebrate with my own ‘experts’ on living (friends and family members), and it’s important for me to reach out to those people whom are living a life not as fortunate as my own.