The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
To forget the elderly is to ignore the wisdom of the years, once wrote Donald Laird. With virtually every country in the world experiencing growth in the number and proportion of elderly people, there is a need to recognise the crucial contributions being made by this hugely respectable segment of society.
According to data from the United Nations’ World Population Prospects: the 2017 Revision, the number of older persons — those aged 60 years or over — is expected to more than double by 2050 and to more than triple by 2100, rising from 962 million globally in 2017 to 2.1 billion in 2050 and 3.1 billion in 2100.
Globally, population aged 60 or over is said to be growing faster than all younger age groups.
In 2017, there were an estimated 962 million people aged 60 or over in the world, comprising 13 per cent of the global population.
The population aged 60 or above is growing at a rate of about 3 per cent per year.
The number of older persons in the world is projected to be 1.4 billion in 2030 and 2.1 billion in 2050, and could rise to 3.1 billion in 2100.
Globally, the number of persons aged 80 or over is projected to triple by 2050, from 137 million in 2017 to 425 million in 2050.
The senior citizens deserve tender care. All possible assistance should be extended to them not only by the families, but also the community.
It’s a collective responsibility of those living in any country to care for the elderly.
Thankfully, countries like the UAE leave no stone unturned to help the aged and deserve praise for doing so.
All this is possible due to the UAE society’s deep-rooted values of caring and love for older people.
Last October, the UAE Cabinet, chaired by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, approved the National Policy for Senior Emiratis to reflect the directions of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to cater to all segments of the UAE society and ensure senior citizens’ wellbeing as part of UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial Strategy 2071.
Sheikh Mohammed made it clear that the National Policy for Senior Emiratis had been adopted to improve the quality of their lives and ensure their active and ongoing participation within the UAE community.
The National Policy for Senior Emiratis is based on an integrated care system to ensure that seniors remain active and facilitate their access to services.
The policy includes seven main components: healthcare, community involvement and active life, effective civic participation, infrastructure and transportation, financial stability, safety and security, and quality of future life.
In Dubai, the Dubai Municipality has provided dedicated walkways for the elderly people on public beaches.
The special pathways have been built for the People of Determination and the elderly to enable them to cross the beach and reach the sea easily.
In March this year, the Sharjah Executive Council decided to exempt the elderly and the People of Determination from admission fees at the emirate’s museums.
Such measures are important and steps in the right direction.
Ensuring security, opportunity and dignity for elderly people is crucial.
It is imperative that societies strive to eliminate all forms of violence and abuse against older people.
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