International Day of Older Persons - 1 October 2007


To mark International Day of Older Persons, the WHO released the first guide on age-friendly cities. The guide has identified the key physical, social and services attributes of age-friendly urban settings .

PDF - 1.4 Mb

The Global age-friendly cities guide is aimed primarily at urban planners, but older citizens can also use it to monitor progress towards more age-friendly cities. Some key features include:

- well-maintained and well-lit streets;
- public buildings that are fully accessible to people with disabilities;
- city bus drivers who wait until older people are seated before starting off and priority seating on buses;
- enough reserved parking spaces for people with disabilities;
- housing integrated in the community that accommodates changing needs and abilities as people grow older;
- friendly, personalized service and information instead of automated answering services;
- easy-to-read written information in plain language;
- public and commercial services and stores in neighbourhoods close to where people live.

The guide is already being used in several parts of the world to initiate age-friendly city development. Networks are being developed in Brazil, Canada, Japan, Spain, the UK, the Caribbean Region and the Middle East.

Related initiatives

In the context of the International Day of Older People on 1 October 2007 the European Older People’s Platform (AGE) highlighted an initiative of one of its members in France, les petits frères des Pauvres to open a national telephone line "Solitud’écoute" to fight against the isolation of people aged 50+ who are confronted with loneliness, emotional or financial distress.

The European European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OSHA) produced special posters to acknowledge that the working population of Europe is ageing, and employers need to pay attention to preventing ill health and injury to older workers. This can be done by effectively assessing the risks, adjusting the work organisation and improving the ergonomics of the workplace.

World Mental Health Day – 10 October 2007

World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2007 focused "Mental Health in a Changing World: the Impact of Culture and Diversity". The aim was to highlight diverse cultures and minority groups and the link to mental health issues. Some of the topics covered include:

- Access and appropriateness of mental health services for minorities - a baseline study

- Mental health, culture and diversity at national level

- EU Workshop on mental health on migration and health in the EU

- World Federation for Mental Health

In order to launch a dialogue on the issue of diversity in mental health and well-being, Mental Health Europe (MHE) is organising together with its member organisations SIND–Danish Association for Mental Health and SIND North Jutland its 2008 annual conference “Diversity in Mental Health and Well-being – An Opportunity for Intercultural Dialogue” on 07-09 August 2008 in the City of Aalborg, Denmark.

For further information:

World Health Organization (WHO)
- Global age-friendly cities: a guide (pdf 1.57Mb)
- Age-friendly cities
- Health topics: Ageing, Women, ageing and health

Mental Health Organisation
- MHE’s 2008 annual conference
- World Mental Health Day 2007

United Nations
- United Nations Events

Last modified on October 31 2007.