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Saving lives in emergencies

We deliver emergency assistance 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

Gaza Humanitarian Appeal

Older people in Gaza desperately need your help.

Member of the DEC

Age International is a member of the Disaster Emergency Committee - we are the only DEC member specialising in age-friendly emergency support.

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 distribution points or queue for help
  • 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 humanitarian organisations think about older people

  • Packages 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 support which is accessible – older people are prioritised in 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 – so we reach the most marginalised & forgotten 
  • We send 'inclusion advisors' to train and advise other agencies and organisations, to help make their support 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: Jun 19 2024

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