Virtual dialogue, launch shed light on ageism

Azlan Othman

The Honorary Advisor of demensia Brunei (dB) Datin Jacqueline Wong participated in the first virtual dialogue and launch of the United Nations (UN) global report on ageism recently, a side event of the 46th session of the Human Rights Council.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus delivered the closing remarks.

Datin Jacqueline said dB was invited to participate in the launch and the start of a global conversation on ageism.

The event highlighted what we know about ageism, why it matters, and how we can tackle it.

The report was developed by WHO, Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and UN Population Fund (UNFPA).

WHO Director General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus waves during the virtual dialogue. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

It presented the latest evidence on a topic that has gained greater relevance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ageism refers to how we think (stereotypes), feel (prejudice) and act (discrimination) towards others or ourselves based on age. Ageism against older and younger people is highly prevalent worldwide. Ageism exists in institutions, during relationships and ourselves, and affects from childhood into older age.

Ageism has an impact on people’s health and costs individuals and the society billions of dollars. Ageism can be combatted.

Datin Jacqueline said “We can all start today by educating and leading by example.”

dB initiated the first ADI Asia Pacific Youth Engagement Programme (YEP) in the Regional Conference in 2019 on the cause of dementia, to nurture the youth in supporting and caring for the elderly, those with dementia and disability(s) in communities.

Youth participation is critical for inclusive communities as young people play a role in volunteerism, advocacy and awareness.

dB continues to inspire the youth to be advocates for age-friendly, dementia-friendly and inclusive community initiatives as well as support young carers. It also inspires the youth to take ownership of their own well-being, lead a meaningful life and volunteer their time to support the community of older people, those with dementia, disabilities and the vulnerable.