International Day of Older Persons

Older persons (65+) assess their general health better and better

The 2020 International Day of Older Persons is dedicated to their health. In 2019, more than a third of older persons assessed their general health as good or very good. According to the data from 2018, 88% of older persons could receive non-material help of relatives, friends, neighbours.

  • 28 September 2020 at 10:30
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1 October was designated the International Day of Older Persons by the United Nations General Assembly 30 years ago. Since 2020 is marked by COVID-19, the topic of the day - »Pandemics: Do They Change How We Address Age and Ageing?« - is also related to it. The purpose of this year's topic is a discussion about health of older persons, their health needs and their contributions to their own health.

The age limit for a person to be declared old is not clearly defined. In Slovenia an older person is a person aged 65 or more. There were 424,000 older persons in Slovenia on 1 January 2020 (20% of all residents). In 2010, older persons represented 17% of all Slovenian residents. According to 2019 population projections (EUROPOP), the share of older persons in Slovenia will be 24% in 10 years and 31% in 50 years.

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Self-assessment of general health among older persons is improving

According to the data from 2019, almost two thirds of older persons (65%) had a long-standing illness or health problem. More than a half (54%) had limitations in usual activities that lasted at least 6 months due to health problems. According to the data from 2019, 36% of older persons assessed their general health as good or very good and 21% as bad or very bad. Self-assessment of general health among older persons is improving. The shares in 2010 were the opposite; 26% of older persons assessed their general health as good or very good and 33% as bad or very bad.

According to the data from 2017, 23% of older persons had a lot of difficulty (or were unable to) walking or climbing steps. Nevertheless, a small proportion of older persons (4%) received home care services during the past 12 months before the interview in 2017.

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The majority of older persons take care of their health through recreational activities

According to the data from 2017, more than a half (57%) of older persons were involved in recreational activities 150 minutes or more per week, which is a minimum according to the recommendations of the World Health Organization. On the other hand, a quarter of older persons did not do any sport activity during the typical week.

Older persons took care of their health also by eating fruit and vegetables: 80% of older persons ate fruit or drank freshly squeezed fruit juices at least once a day and 76% ate vegetables or drank freshly squeezed vegetables juices at least once a day.


Most older persons can count on material and non-material help

In everyday life and especially in the case of illness, or as this year in the case of a pandemic, it is important that we have persons who we can ask for help. According to the data from 2018, 88% of older persons could receive non-material help (help with doing something, in the case of illness, etc.) from relatives, friends, neighbours if needed; 72% of older persons could receive material help (money, goods, food, tools, etc.).


More than a half of older persons feel calm and peaceful, and almost a half happy

Wellbeing importantly affects our health. According to the data from 2018, 13% of older persons (65+) assessed that they had been very nervous all or most of the time in the past four weeks before the interview, 9% had felt down in the dumps all or most of the time, 8% had been feeling lonely and 4% had felt downhearted or depressed. On the other hand, more than a half (59%) had felt calm and peaceful all or most of the time and 49% of older persons had been happy over the past four weeks before the interview in 2018.

 

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