Longevity and good health are blessings from Allah (SWT). On the occasion of International Older Persons Day, Muslim Aid acknowledges the contributions that older people make to the socio-economic development of the society by remaining active citizens and getting involved in community life. Staying connected to the community members is important for happy and healthy living. Muslim Aid endorses the 2013 theme of International Day of Older Persons, ‘’The future we want: what older persons are saying’’.
A spokesperson for Muslim Aid said: ‘’Active and healthy people are the new power engine of the communities. In the 21st century the definition of age has changed. People are not old as long as they feel young and remain net contributors to society. In recognition of this, the state pension age in the UK for both men and women will increase to 66 by October 2020 from the current state pension age of 65 for men and 60 for women. The young and old are mutually dependant on each other. The old have experience and time and young have energy and enthusiasm. A society benefiting from the inputs of its old and young can look forward to a healthy, balanced and bright future and is bound to achieve happiness. The older people of the society play a vital role in educating and bringing up their children and grandchildren to be active and become responsible citizens in society. Their passion and high spirit for volunteerism is also commendable and they are a source of inspiration for the young generation. It is essential to listen and respond to challenges older people are encountering because the appropriate government policies and community initiatives put into practice now can be useful for younger generation in future.’’ Islam teaches us to treat the elderly with kindness, politeness and show respect to them. Every year Muslim Aid launches its annual Winter Campaign to support the disadvantaged and vulnerable elderly UK residents. As the elderly are susceptible to health problems arising from inadequate heating and poorly insulated homes, beneficiaries are given electric heaters and kettles, which enable them to avoid cold and keep themselves warm throughout the winter.
Note to editor The United Nations' (UN) International Day of Older Persons is celebrated annually on October 1 to recognize the contributions of older persons and to examine issues that affect their lives. Muslim Aid is a relief and development agency set up in the United Kingdom in 1985 to provide humanitarian assistance to disaster affected countries and to help poor and vulnerable communities overcome poverty. Over the last 27 years, Muslim Aid has delivered services in over 70 countries worldwide. Muslim Aid works with all communities irrespective of faith, ethnic origin or political system. Muslim Aid programmes include emergency relief, capacity building through water, sanitation and health programmes, education and skills development.