Global Solidarity for Older Adults

Malta’s International Institute on Ageing has shined a light that global solidarity for ageing is emerging.  As of April 15, 82 countries have had some form of lockdown instituted in response to COVID-19. Malta highlighted great signs of solidarity:

  • An informal group of friends in Mumbai, India distributed 15 days of rations to the hungry.
  • France’s e-seniors is keeping older adults safely at home with entertainment.
  • One UK Nursing home company launched an “Adopt a grandparent” program to foster new intergenerational friendships.

Some more examples of solidarity that the news has picked up include:

  • A sense of empathy developing among people who have never been isolated to relate better to older isolated adults.
  • The United Nations placed Older Persons at the top of the list for their “Everyone Included” campaign.
  • Coalitions are building public emergency plans and disaster preparedness for persons with disabilities and older adults, who are more likely to have injuries or die in a disaster due to lack of planning.
  • Social solidarity for care workers appears through public applause. This act has been displayed in Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Brazil, Denmark, UK, and America.

We are at a crucial point where global solidarity will be tested, between different generations, groups with different incomes, and international relations. Solidarity is a form of preventing transmission, so this test is one we must pass. The World Health Organization continues to support solidarity for the world to follow non-pharmaceutical interventions.

As a reminder, April 29 is the European Day of Solidarity Between Generations. Celebrating may be different this year, but we can figure it out.