Dominica will join for the first time other countries worldwide to observe the UN International Day of Older Persons carded for October 1.

Organizations lobbying for the rights of the elderly have put in place a series of activities around the globe, dubbed Age Demands Action, to observe the day and they say plans are well under way.

“We have new partners taking part in South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya as well as St Vincent and Grenadines and Dominica,” HelpAge International, one of the main organizers of the activities, said on its website.

On October 1 delegations of elderly persons will meet with relevant government ministries including Ministries of Health, Ministries of Social Development or Social Welfare and Ministries of Labour to campaign for improved rights of the elderly in their respective countries.

Delegates from Dominica will join their counterparts in Belize and Thailand to focus on improved access to health care for older people.

Other countries around the world are expected to focus on issues that affect the elderly including national policies on ageing, increased social pension, secure housing and protection from elder abuse.

Organizer say they hope the events worldwide will help create awareness of issues affecting the elderly.

The UN General Assembly designated October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons by resolution 45/106 of 14 December 1990 to recognize the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives.

The UN estimates that world-wide, there are around 600 million persons aged 60 years and over; this total will double by 2025 and will reach virtually two billion by 2050 – the vast majority of them in the developing world.