‘Age Proud Month’ Celebrating the contribution of older residents

02.10.2020

During October and throughout the year Age-friendly Cheshire West partners are celebrating the immense contributions of older residents.

2020 marks the 30th Anniversary of the United Nations International Day of Older Persons (IDOP). This year has also seen the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world.

IDOP takes place on 1 October and begins a year of action. IDOP 2020 focuses on the challenges faced by older people during the pandemic as well as recognising their contribution to the coronavirus response.

IDOP 2020 also highlights the World Health Organization Decade of Healthy Ageing. The decade aims to improve the lives of older people and the communities in which they live. In addition to tackling ageism, and improving access to long-term care, the decade aims to develop more age-friendly communities.

In 2019 members of the UK Network of Age-friendly Communities acted together publicly calling for an end to outdated, ageist attitudes and language.  

Leaders from across the country joined together to mark IDOP 2019 by signing an open letter calling for a commitment to stamp out prejudice and change the way we talk about ageing.

Since the signing of the letter the world has changed and a spotlight has been shone on the lives of older people.

“The pandemic has revealed incredible community spirit and resilience, demonstrated in the heart-felt response in communities, post lockdown, that sought to help those who were shielding.

“However, we are also seeing a widening of inequalities and an ageist narrative that continues to equate later life with vulnerability. As we develop plans for how to recover from the pandemic, we need to put ageing back on the agenda to ensure that no one misses out on a good later life.” Anna Dixon, Chief Executive, Centre for Ageing Better

Celebrating the valuable contribution of older adults in our communities

During the month of October and throughout the year Age-friendly Cheshire West and partners will be recognising and celebrating the immense contribution older residents make to local communities across the borough. We will also be highlighting the vital role of older residents have played during the pandemic.

Together we will be sharing photographs and stories showing the valuable contribution of older residents to the community, workplaces and to local businesses and organisations.

Age-friendly Cheshire West partners and Cheshire West Voluntary Action (CWVA) are celebrating the contribution of older volunteers as part of the Year of Volunteering campaign.

Many older volunteers across west Cheshire make a significant contribution to their local communities. With the COVID-19 restrictions in place, many older people have been supporting others from their own homes. It is important we recognise the fantastic work volunteers through the current challenges and all year round and also highlight the many benefits of volunteering.

‘We are Age Proud’ – Changing the conversation around ageing

October will see the launch of ‘We are Age Proud’ part of Age-friendly Cheshire West’s ‘Age Proud’ campaign changing the conversation around ageing.

Later life can span over fifty years, from fifty plus to over a hundred and we are all uniquely different.

‘We are Age Proud’ celebrates the diversity of older residents across the borough and reinforces key messages that whatever our age we should be seen as unique individuals and valued for everything we bring to our communities. Participants are invited to share a photo and why they are ‘Age Proud’. The collection of photo’s aims to make a bold visual statement about the diversity of later life.

Activities taking place during October

During October we will be sharing details of activities taking place including Get Online Week (19-25 October)

Get Online Week activities and support are being coordinated by Libraries together with Older People Active Lives (OPAL) and Age-friendly Digital Inclusion group members. Activities include ‘Get Online and Try Something New’ on the 21 October as well as encouragement and support to get online including one-to-one support by friendly volunteers.

Decade of Health Ageing Event

On the 29 October, older representatives from Age-friendly Cheshire West and Chester will join other from across the country at the Network Older People’s Decade of Healthy Ageing event. Representatives will help the UK Age-friendly Network build a picture of what success by 2030 looks like.  A social media day will also be held to coincide with the event.

Get Involved

Now more than ever, we need everyone to come together and join us in highlighting the voices and contribution of older residents.

We need everyone to help change attitudes to ageing and create age-friendly communities that enable us all to live better lives as we grow older and enjoy later life.

Join us by sharing your stories, supporting our campaign and helping make your community age-friendly by emailing: InclusiveCommunities@cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk