On December 14, 1990 the United Nations General Assembly voted to establish October 1 as the International Day of Older Persons (IDOP).
The aim of the day was to spread awareness about the need for health provisions and social care for the elderly.
The first IDOP was held on October 1, 1991 and Age Concern New Zealand has been organising events throughout the country in support of the day since then.
Thirty years later, Covid tried to put a damper on plans Age Concern Horowhenua had in place, but they were having none of that.
"Along with the Horowhenua District Council and Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō, we had originally planned a large social gathering," said Horowhenua manager Catherine McAuliffe, "but decided to gift celebratory cakes to our local rest home residents instead."
Robyn Baker, a registered social worker who has been part of Age Concern NZ for a number of years, said "These members of our community often get forgotten so making the day all about them was a fabulous idea."
The Sponge Kitchen café and bakery, who are already a generous supporter of Age Concern Horowhenua, jumped on board - baking 10 cakes to feed 420 residents in local rest homes.
The cakes were a mixture of banana and chocolate, were beautifully iced and decorated, and in most cases were large enough to feed the residents over a couple of days.
"Masonic Village's cake was at least 12 kilos in weight," said McAuliffe, "and so big and heavy that I had to go sideways through our office door with it."
Along with the cakes, each resident also received a card to recognise the day, the printing of which was organised by Te Takeretanga o Kura-hau-pō and funded equally by all three organisations involved.
Baker, McAuliffe and Charlene Lyttle from Age Concern Horowhenua were joined by Kim Stewart from HDC and Jennifer Walton from Te Takere, with delivery of the cakes to the rest homes on the day split into shifts - half dropped off for morning tea and the other half at afternoon tea time.
"This was also a chance for us to acknowledge those people who support the older people we were celebrating," said Baker.
McAuliffe and Baker are grateful the Horowhenua branch of Age Concern has a board that are proactive and passionate about elder issues and fully supportive of the staff in their roles.
"The committee has representatives from Shannon, Foxton and Levin, as well as those who can provide a Māori perspective and a mixture of ages," they said.
Age Concern New Zealand is a charity dedicated to promoting dignity, wellbeing, equity and respect for people over the age of 65.
The organisation provides expert information and support services in response to older people's needs as well as for their friends, and whānau.
If you would like to know more about what Age Concern Horowhenua can offer get in touch phone 06 367 2181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.