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Saving lives in emergencies

We deliver emergency aid that is specially designed for people who are older.

A health worker handing out antibacterial gel and other equipment to at risk older people in the communities during the coronavirus crisis

Turkey-Syria Earthquake Appeal

Survivors urgently need shelter, medical assistance and food. Please donate today.

Member of the DEC

Age International is a member of the Disaster Emergency Committee - we are the only DEC member to run specifically age-friendly aid.

Older people's experience of emergencies

During times of crisis, older people are particularly vulnerable. If you’re older and caught in an emergency, you might be:

  • Unable to move and flee
  • Unable to see
  • Unable to reach aid distribution or queue for aid
  • Unable to communicate
  • Separated from your family
  • Have specific health and nutritional needs
  • At risk from abuse and neglect

What is age-friendly aid?

Emergency aid is not 'one size fits all'. When an older person reaches safety, they need:

  • Food that is easy to chew and digest
  • Medicines & healthcare for geriatric conditions
  • Walking sticks, glasses and other essentials they may have lost
  • Care at home, if they are immobile

Very few aid organisations think about older people

  • Aid packs are heavy and difficult to open
  • Refugee camps can be difficult to navigate if you have a disability
  • Many recovery programmes exclude people of a certain age

How we save lives during an emergency

  • We deliver aid which is accessible – older people are prioritised in aid queues and have a place to sit, they can easily carry and open our food packs, healthcare is targeted at geriatric conditions 
  • We target the most vulnerable older people  with our aid – so we reach the most marginalised & forgotten 
  • We send 'inclusion advisors' to train and advise other agencies and organisations, to help make their aid more accessible to older people and people with disabilities   

What we've done: explore a specific emergency

Latest from our emergency programmes

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Last updated: Sep 21 2023

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