International Day of Older Persons

International Day of Older Persons

About IDOP

International Day of Older Persons, or IDOP, was first launched in Singapore in 2014 and is an initiative coordinated by National Council of Social Service (NCSS). As part of the celebrations, NCSS has also introduced the “Seniors Give Thanks!” campaign, for seniors to give thanks to their loved ones through simple acts of gratitude.

IDOP 2019

This year, to empower other social service agencies to lead their own IDOP celebrations, RSVP co-organised DIY IDOPs at the different centres instead.

IDOP 2019 was celebrated at nine centres with 365 clients. 56 RSVP volunteers participated in the celebrations over three months from September to November.

The celebrations were held at

  • Alzheimer’s Disease Association
  • Ang Mo Kio – Thye Hua Kwan Hospital
  • Filos Community Services
  • Hope Centre (Singapore)
  • Methodist Welfare Services
  • Metta Day Rehabilitation Centre for the Elderly
  • Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped
  • Sree Narayana Mission (Singapore)
  • St Luke’s Eldercare Ltd


Photos of our DIY IDOP celebration at Alzheimer’s Disease Association can be found here.

IDOP 2018

RSVP Singapore has once again been tasked to head the IDOP 2018 celebrations. This year, the main celebrations were held on 29 September 2018 at the Lifelong Learning Institute. The Guest of Honor was Senior Minister of State for Law and Health Mr Edwin Tong.

Recognising the need to reach out to more organisations and spread the message behind IDOP, RSVP has decided to expand beyond the main celebrations. By initiating mini Do-It-Yourself (DIY) events, we were able to engage more seniors and share the importance of showing gratitude.

Three rounds of training were also conducted to empower and better equip the staff members from the Social Service Organisations (SSOrgs) to conduct the DIYs at the own centres or to understand the meaning behind IDOP. Some of the organisations include Jamiyah Nursing Home, St Luke ElderCare centres and various family service centres.

To accommodate a larger number of partners this year, we have increased the number of  “Thank you” cards to 30,000 for distribution to over 60 SSOrgs across Singapore. The same cards were also given out during the main celebrations for 200 seniors to present their small token of written gratitude to their loved ones, caregivers or anyone they wish to thank.

Watch the video which was screened during the main celebrations, where three seniors – Mdm Wendy, 66, Mdm Rajammah, 87 and Mr Chiang, 78 – give thanks to their friends, daughter and wife respectively here:!

IDOP 2017

RSVP Singapore was proud to have spearheaded the International Day of Older Persons celebration for 2017.

Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Environment and Water Resources & Ministry of Health Dr Amy Khor was present at the event to lend her support.

Participants at the event on Sunday, 1 October 2017, at Lifelong Learning Institute included seniors from various senior activity centres across the island, and our senior volunteers.

More than 25,000 “Thank You” cards were distributed to 68 agencies for seniors to pen their gratitude and present to their loved ones. Agencies include social service organisations, Sports Singapore, the Agency for Integrated Care, and Singapore University of Social Sciences. It was also the first time that multiple social service organisations were gathered at a single venue to celebrate the day as a sector.

The IDOP was established on 14 December 1990 by the United Nations General Assembly. It is observed every year on 1 October.

View photos of the event on our Facebook page here.

Watch this video on how Annie, Mdm Ho, and Phillip expressed their gratitude to their loved ones.

Annie, 69, & her husband David, 73

Annie is wheelchair bound and David has been taking care of her without complaint. She is very thankful for her husband’s love and care. While they joke that they don’t know why they love the other, Annie notes that David takes good care of her and her children. She also highlights that David has never raised his voice at her throughout their 50 years of marriage.

Mdm Ho, 71, and her friend Catherine, 53

Mdm Ho and Catherine are both members of the Pacific Activity Centre @Fajar Spring. Though they have an age gap, this does not stop them from becoming close friends. Catherine will always escort Mdm Ho, who is not very mobile, to participate in the activities at the centre. They stay active together by doing simple exercises.

Phillip, 65, and his friend Patrick, 64

Phillip suffered a stroke 10 years ago and since then has to depend on a wheelchair to move about. Five years ago, Patrick, who is a volunteer from Willing Hearts, delivered food to Phillip at his rental room. They soon became friends. Phillip calls Patrick his “angel” as he does everything for the former, including settling his hospital and medical bills, shopping, groceries. Phillip says Patrick does “everything” for him

IDOP 2016

Read stories about previous “Seniors Give Thanks!” and IDOP celebrations here.

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