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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

Coronavirus appeal

While Age UK is supporting older people in the UK, Age International is working to reach those in high-risk areas in low-income countries where healthcare systems are already severely stretched.

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: Apr 17 2020

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