In the poorest parts of the world, older people affected by conflict or living in camps need help urgently.
We must act now to help older people survive
Those caught up in refugee crises or conflicts, living in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions without adequate healthcare or support, are living in fear of catching the virus. They have already left so much behind and now face a new, silent threat that could leave them too ill to provide for their families, or even survive.
Older people are amongst the hardest hit
69% of the global population aged over 60 live within low- and middle-income countries. These people are at greater risk of catching coronavirus, threatening their lives. The impact will affect not only them, but their families and communities.
Our work on the ground
Since March, we’ve been working – through our local partners – to support older people in over 20 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America. From initiating new emergency COVID-19 projects, to adapting programmes that had already been running for years – we are tailoring our response to meet the needs of older people and their families.
From refugee camps in South Sudan and Bangladesh, to war-torn countries such as Syria and Yemen – we’re working hard to support older people who have already lost so much. Our outreach workers and community-based carers are visiting older people in their homes to ensure we’re also reaching the most marginalised.
Here are some of the ways we’re helping…
Protecting health workers
In order to stop the spread of coronavirus, and to protect the older people they help, health workers must be protected. We’re providing frontline medical staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) to lower the risk of transmission, as well as thermometers so they can check people’s temperatures.
Distributing hygiene kits
We’re providing at-risk individuals, and households, with kits containing items such as soap, disinfectant, masks, gloves and tissues. This is being distributed by a variety of frontline workers, from mobile medical teams to volunteer carers.
In some of the places we work, hand hygiene is already a struggle. We’re installing handwashing facilities in key locations to lower the risk of transmission.
Training frontline staff and volunteers
Our teams on the ground are working night and day to reach the most vulnerable and marginalised older people. We’re training volunteers and frontline staff so that they can deliver the best support possible, working alongside expert medical teams and carers.
Public messaging doesn’t always consider the needs of older people, who are more likely to be affected by impairments such as sight loss and hearing loss. We’re distributing inclusive prevention messaging that is designed specifically for older people.
For more information on where we are responding to the crisis, and how, please visit this page.
Please, donate today – thank you.
Age International is raising money together with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) for the Coronavirus Appeal. The DEC is a consortium of 14 aid member charities working together in times of disasters and emergencies. Any income not spent after twelve months after the appeal launch may be allocated to another emergency situation that requires our support. Age International is working through its overseas partner, HelpAge, to implement emergency coronavirus prevention and relief programmes in over 20 countries.