With the pandemic and the 2020 launch of the Decade of Healthy Aging (2020-2030), the United Nations wants to remind people of goal #3 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “to enable all people to live in good health and promote well-being for all at all ages.”
In addition to the discussion undertaken with experts around the review of the Global Strategy and Plan of Action on Aging and Health 2016-2020, the UN wants to raise awareness around the world about how we look at and perceive older persons. This is a very meaningful statement when it is estimated that the number of elderly people is expected to more than double over the next three decades, reaching more than 1.5 billion people in 2050.
Reflecting on how we view the elderly
“Above all, it is the way we look at older people that must change. To be old is in itself neither a defect nor a disease nor a crime… Tomorrow, I will be a little older, and I may need to be “supported” at home and not “maintained” at home. I will need to be “considered”, not “taken care of” – I am not a burden! I will need to be “looked after”, not “watched over”.
“It doesn’t seem like much, but these words speak well of the necessary change of perspective that must be brought about in old age. It is on this condition that the elderly will be considered not as objects of care, but as subjects of law. Meeting difficulties and problems, but remaining until the end of their lives as men and women. Full-fledged citizens.”
-Michel Billé, sociologist. Newspaper Le Monde – 02/08/2020