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Our impact: Improving the lives of older people

Our impact: improving the lives of older people

2020-21 was the year that older people needed us more than ever with older people at highest risk of serious illness from the global pandemic. Working with our partners in the HelpAge network we delivered vital programmes and influencing work. We're proud to have supported millions of older people across the world this year.

Read the Impact Report (PDF, 4 MB)

Our impact 

Last year we supported older people in more than 25 countries to improve their quality of life in a range of ways that are important to them. We were able to deliver emergency aid to those who needed it most, help people have income security, improve healthcare and advocate for older people's rights across the globe. 

Being there for older people 

2020-2021 was a year that older people needed us more than ever with older people at highest risk of serious illness from the global pandemic. For many older people already dealing with war, displacement or illness it meant facing a crisis on top of a crisis. 

From the onset we worked hard with HelpAge International and local partners to reach thousands of older people in over 25 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East and Latin America with vital support, helping to protect them and prevent the spread of the disease.

Being there for older people

From initiating new emergency COVID-19 projects, to adapting longrunning programmes, we tailored our COVID-19 response to meet the needs of older people and their families. 

Our support included distributing COVID-19 information, awareness campaigns and advocating for the proper inclusion of older people in local responses, providing mental health and medical support, health checks,
hand-washing stations, hygiene kits, personal protective equipment (PPE), food, medicine, home visits and essential items.

Read more from older Rohingya refugees

Working with our local partner in Cox's Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh we adapted and enhanced our existing services in Age Friendly Spaces, including healthcare and psychological support to help older people like Ummat Ali prepare for the virus and reduce its spread.

Transforming lives 

Our work strives to achieve long-term, high impact change for older people, and to build evidence of the value of the approaches we take, for us to use in our advocacy work with opinion formers and policy makers.

During this uniquely challenging year we are so proud to have improved the the lives of older people who felt unheard and excluded by providing vital  support ranging from social protection and healthcare to supporting refugees. 

Restoring eyesight and regaining independence

We worked to help strengthen the health system in Ethiopia and provide eyecare outreach to older people. Elemtu, 75, is just one of the older people we were able to reach with treatment, showing that a simple procedure can change an older person’s life.

If not now, when?

Women like Chol Pur are vital to their families and communities, yet a lack of data on and awareness of the contributions of older women means they struggle to access support in an emergency. Our report with HelpAge International "If Not Now, When" highlighted how the sector is failing older people and demanded change.

Staff interview - adapting to the pandemic

2020-21 was a challenging year for everyone, but especially for older people. Hear from our colleague Poppy about how the team dealt with the first year of the pandemic as an organisation focused on supporting older people.

Impact report 2020-21

Our vision is a world in which women and men everywhere can lead dignified, healthy, and secure lives as they grow older. Our Impact Report shows how we worked to reach this goal in 2020/21.

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