As we approach the end of the year, I want to offer warm greetings to the Global Ageing Network for a happy holiday season. I am grateful to each of you for the work you do every day to make the world a better place to grow old.
It is a noble and high calling to be entrusted with the shelter, care and support needs of our elders. We’re counted on for our integrity, the quality we deliver and for always doing what is in the best interests of those we house and serve. Families expect nothing less, governments in some cases pay us for this and older people deserve it.
On a global level, we haven’t yet imagined – much less invented – the policies, systems and models that will address the seismic demographic shift called “global ageing”, but we know all too well that demography is destiny–so we must. In doing so, we need to be mindful of the deep poverty many face and basic human rights that are violated daily in some places – the right to live with dignity, safety and security. We must advocate for systems and supports to meet needs and address injustice.
As we sharpen our imaginations, we need to listen carefully to the voices of older people – really listen. Creating a better future for the world’s elders is an imperative; the opportunity to be part of the creation is a gift – a gift and a purpose that we, as part of the global ageing network, share.
I look forward to our continued work together in the new year.