We are in a crisis whether or not the government chooses to really take responsibility and make the necessary changes that are needed to secure care for the elderly and the growing boomer generation who will soon need more services as well. The generation that follows the boomers will not be able to provide the professional staffing services that will be needed to assist because there is such a sharp decline in the numbers of people. And, many boomers do not have children who will care for them as we are caring for our parents. How, this will unfold has yet to be seen. There are many remarkable organizations doing the necessary research and taking legislative actions to prove the neccessity for development and augmentation of these programs but caregiving as it is known today is still so new; the path is slow in the unfolding process. It is vitally important that family caregivers take the time to write their congressional local government representatives on their needs and have their voices heard. The more we all connect as a larger grassroots component, the more impact we will have on seeing that proper measures are provided.
My sense is that volunteerism will take on the “good samaritan” feeling once again. Neighbors will begin to reach out and get to know and help one another as they did years ago. For so many years, people have been caught up in themselves,
October 1, 2003 was the day of observance for the International Day Of Older Persons. Since 1990, the United Nations’s Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Committee on Aging has been commemorating older persons with programs developed to raise awareness about the challenges to older persons and to learn from the elderly of the world as well.On October 1, 2003, the Administration on Aging (AoA) will join communities around the world in observing the International Day of Older Persons. I would like to invite your agency and your community to also participate in this international day dedicated to honoring older people.
I was invited to attend the United Nations’s event on October 2nd here in New York City in celebration of this event to honor our older people globally. The theme this year during the 13th annual celebration was: Mainstreaming Ageing: Forging Links Between the Madrid Plan of Actyion On Ageing and the Millennium Development Goals.. Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan sent a message that could be best summed up in his ending statement:
“Every one of us can help build bridges between generations by embracing the skills of older persons, whether in community or family affairs, agriculture or urban entrepreneurship, education, technology or the arts, poverty reduction or peace building.The challenge before us is to bring the invaluable attributes of older people out of obscurity and into step with other instruments of development — including the work to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, our blueprint for building a better world in the 21st century. On this International Day of Older Persons, let us vow to make the most of the powerful resource that older persons represent in the work for development.”
We must provide for older persons as a part of humanity and we must provide for the development of programs and a society that is “For All Ages”.
Gail R. Mitchell