Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Council is celebrating International Day of Older Persons (IDOP) 2023 – a campaign that recognises senior members within our communities.
The initiative, which was launched by the United Nations, is officially held on 1 October each year, and encourages people aged 65 and over to discover their past, embrace their present and plan for their future.
Due to recent advances in healthcare and medical science, for the first time in the UK’s history 19 million people will be aged 65 plus by 2040, a figure which is expected to rise to 1.6 billion globally in the same year.
This year’s theme is ‘Know Our Place,’ inspiring people to learn more about their home, try new experiences and embrace new relationships.
To support the initiative, BCP Council is working in close partnership with local bus operator morebus, who offer several services to interesting locations across the conurbation, such as Ringwood, Blandford, Wimborne and Swanage.
Every morebus has suspension-lowered floors, wheel and pushchair access, as well as clear audio and visual cues, while every driver is trained to identify and support passengers suffering from dementia. This helps to ensure everybody is welcome.
If you are aged 66 or older, you can also ride for free with a concessionary bus pass. To apply for one in BCP, click here.
Various events are being held around the area to mark the occasion, while select meetings have also been organised by the council and its partners to offer helpful home, health and financial advice for those who may need it.
More information on our events can be accessed via our online schedule. Click here to view the schedule.
Should you require more details, please contact BCP Council’s Communities Team directly via email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 01202 126 723.
A unique photography display nicknamed ‘reflections,’ will also be available at local libraries, community centres and Christchurch Primary Care Network GPs throughout October, showcasing older people alongside their younger selves.
Louise Ahrens, Health and Social Care Lead at Christchurch Primary Care Network, who are partnering with BCP Council to celebrate IDOP, said:
“With almost 50,000 patients across the Highcliffe and Christchurch conurbation, we have a higher percentage of elder people compared to the national average. As such, we look to offer a holistic and wrap-around service to our older patients.
“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed taking these photographs of local residents and I love working with our older generations. I believe it’s really important that people are mindful to always regard the whole person and take a broader view of what makes that person, as opposed to just seeing a snapshot of how they present today.
“International Day of Older Persons is an initiative which deserves to be celebrated. It’s always inspiring to work collaboratively with valued partners such as BCP Council and Christchurch Community Partnership to show how we value older communities in our area.”
Despite the official date, people are encouraged to celebrate whenever, however and with whoever they choose. Why not share your celebrations with us online by using the hashtag #IDOP2023.
Discussing the campaign, Councillor Millie Earl, Deputy Leader of BCP Council and Portfolio Holder for Connected Communities, said:
“International Day of Older Persons is a really valuable initiative here in BCP, with 22 per cent of our local population being aged 65 and over.
“Older generations are a key part of each of our communities, so it's important we recognise that and celebrate their contribution.
“I would urge anybody celebrating to meet with family or friends to mark the occasion, or to attend one of our associated events.
“I would also like to remind people that the council is here to support you. If you find yourself struggling, or in need of advice, I urge you to visit our website for more information or get in touch with one of our dedicated teams to access support.”
For information on our events, visit our online schedule: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hqAzPMMTj6kH5KjOQGUveHc-6GT-joGkO0-uzbwA7Dw/edit?usp=sharing
For more information on International Day of Older Persons 2023, visit: International Day of Older Persons | United Nations or International Day of Older Persons - 1 October 2023 | Centre for Ageing Better (ageing-better.org.uk)
For help, guidance and support, visit the BCP Council website: Home (bcpcouncil.gov.uk)