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COVID-19: Older people's stories

HELPAGE INTERNATIONAL
April 2020

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HelpAge International is working with older people and network members around the world to respond to the threat of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The experiences of older people and how they are responding to the spread of the virus are available.

 

Guidance available includes: COVID-19 in general; for care homes; administering pensions; collecting pensions; for communities and older persons associations.

 

Briefing notes include: older people and COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries and humanitarian settings; and key messages for decision makers. 

 

Many resources are available with some also available in Arabic, Russian and Spanish. 

Rapid needs assessment of older people Cyclone Idai, Malawi

HELPAGE INTERNATIONAL
MALAWI NETWORK OF OLDER PEOPLES ORGANISATIONS (MANEPO)
March 2019

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In early March 2019, heavy rains and floods affected the majority of the districts in southern Malawi. At least 115,000 were affected, with scores of fatalities, injured and missing persons. The situation intensified when Cyclone Idai reached Malawi, increasing the devastation caused by heavy rain weeks earlier. When Cyclone Idai caused the Shire river to reach capacity and flood, the districts of Chikwawa and Nsanje were among the worst affected. The aim of this rapid needs assessment was to inform the design of  HelpAge International’s own humanitarian response to the devastating impact of Cyclone Idai on older people in Malawi. The Malawi Network of Older Persons’ Organisations (MANEPO) and HelpAge International jointly conducted the assessment in Chikwawa and Nsanje districts in March 2019. The report also aims to support organisations operating in the affected areas to develop inclusive programmes and support advocacy for the rights of older people to be upheld in the response. The report contains key findings of the assessment, together with observations and analysis. 

HelpAge training portal

HELPAGE INTERNATIONAL
2019

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This digital learning platform was established for the purpose of remote humanitarian response for hard to reach areas. HelpAge International is utilizing expertise to train international and national organizations, government agencies, and the private sector on Age Inclusive Interventions.

These series of trainings on 'Helping Older People in Emergencies (HOPE)' is designed to strengthen the capacity of humanitarian actors to ensure that their humanitarian action is evidence-based and responds to the distinct needs and priorities of crisis-affected to older men, women, and other vulnerable groups.

 

Modules available are:

1. Age & its interaction with vulnerabilities in humanitarian crises

2. Inclusion of older people in emergency needs assessments & SADDD

3. Health, home-based & community-based care in humanitarian crises

4. Protection of older people in humanitarian crises

5. Food security & livelihoods interventions for older people in humanitarian crises

More at risk: how older people are excluded in humanitarian data

TANYANG, Gaynor
VENTURES, Lumina
2019

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This report evaluates existing policies and practices on how older people have been excluded from data in disaster preparedness and humanitarian responses in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Indonesia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

In order to evaluate existing policies and practices in the collection of inclusion data, the research employed two main methods: a review of documents and a survey. The review of documents was conducted in three stages: a global literature review, followed by a policy review and a practice review. The survey analysed the responses of 72 respondents from 10 countries .

Older people’s perceptions of health and wellbeing in rapidly ageing low- and middle-income countries

ALBONE, Rachel
2019

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This report presents the findings of an analysis of data collected by HelpAge International and its network members using HelpAge’s Health Outcomes Tool. The tool is designed to collect data to better understand health and care in older age, and to measure the impact of HelpAge’s health and care programmes. It was developed in response to the challenges posed by the lack of data on older people’s health and care, particularly in low- and middle-income countries, and the resulting lack of understanding about how best to provide age, gender and disability sensitive services for older women and men. The tool was used between 2014 and 2017 in nine low- and middle-income countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America,1 and gathered data from over 3,000 older people. The findings are presented here in the context of the current debate and evidence on older people’s right to health.

This report explores three different areas in relation to ageing and health: older people’s access to health services; availability of care and support; and the impact both health, and care and support services have on older people’s health status, functional ability and wellbeing.

 

 

 

Missing millions: How older people with disabilities are excluded from humanitarian response

SHEPPARD, Phillip
POLACK, Sarah
McGIVERN, Madeleine
July 2018

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The aim of this study was to explore the experiences of older people with disabilities across a range of humanitarian settings, considering:

  • whether older people with disabilities have additional needs and challenges accessing humanitarian assistance and protection
  • what factors facilitate or limit access by older people with disabilities to humanitarian assistance and protection
  • to what extent is humanitarian response inclusive of older people with disabilities

A systematic literature review of published studies was conducted. Key online humanitarian guidelines were explored to review how far they explicitly address older people with disabilities. Data from six population-based disability surveys comparing the living situation of older people with and without disabilities were analysed. These included databases from two crises-affected populations in Haiti (post-earthquake) and Palestine. Data from four non-humanitarian settings was also reviewed to explore more broadly the situation for older people with disabilities – India, Guatemala, Cameroon and Nepal. Interviews were held with older people with disabilities, members of their families and local key informants in two conflict-affected populations in Ndutu and Mtendeli refugee camps in Western Tanzania, and Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Eastern Ukraine to find out about their experiences. Staff of five international agencies working in humanitarian response were also interviewed. 

 

Findings highlight particular issues facing older people with disabilities in humanitarian crises: more risk escaping from danger;  barriers to accessing social protection and work; barriers to accessing health and rehabilitation services; barriers to accessing food and other essentials; unsuitable housing and poor living conditions;  insecurity and discrimination; threats to dignity and independence; social isolation and loneliness; risks to mental health; and missing from humanitarian response.

 

A table brings together the findings from the different components of the research to show the needs, risks, barriers and enablers for older people with disabilities identified in the research. Recommendations are provided to humanitarian donors, policy makers and practitioners

Humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities

ADCAP
TILL, Celia
et al
February 2018

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The Humanitarian inclusion standards for older people and people with disabilities provide guidance across all areas and at all stages of emergency response to ensure older people and people with disabilities are not left out.

The standards consist of nine key inclusion standards, including identification, safe and equitable access, knowledge and participation, and learning. Alongside these, there are seven sector-specific inclusion standards, which include protection, shelter, health, and water, sanitation and hygiene.

Each standard comes with key actions, guidance, tools and resources, and case studies illustrating how older people and people with disabilities have been included in humanitarian responses.

The sector-specific standards provide guidance in three key areas: data and information management, addressing barriers to inclusion, and participation of older people and people with disabilities.

By implementing the key action points provided, organisations will build up a greater evidence base, deliver more inclusive programmes, and be able to better demonstrate impact on the lives of those most at risk during humanitarian crises.

The standards can be used as guidance during programme development, implementation and monitoring, and as a resource for training and advocacy.

A situational analysis of disability and aging in Myanmar

ZEITZER, Ilene
2018

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The interaction of aging and disability is explored in the context of Myanmar. Blindness and deafness data are taken from the census. Carer givers and the family are discussed. Goverment and civil society responses are also discussed.

A briefing paper is also available.

Global AgeWatch Insights. The right to health for older people, the right to be counted

ALBONE, Rachel
et al
2018

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This report considers the progress being made to achieve older people's right to health amid the global drive towards universal health coverage. It explores how older people are currently accessing health services and what changes need to be made to improve on this. It considers the role of data in driving and informing changes to health systems and the services they deliver. Data must be collected with and about older people to ensure adequate evidence for service design and delivery that is targeted and appropriate. This report explores the adequacy of current data systems and collection mechanisms and how, alongside health systems, they must be adapted in an ageing world. 

 

This report is supported by 12 country profiles (for Argentina, Colombia, El Salvador, Kenya, Lebanon, Moldova, Myanmar, Pakistan, Serbia, Tanzania, Vietnam and Zimbabwe; see Appendix 1). These provide national information on trends in the physical and mental health status of older people, and population-level information on access to UHC. The profiles are supplemented by data mapping, showing the national data available on older people’s health in the 12 profile countries, and revealing the data gaps. The data mapping results are available at www.GlobalAgeWatch.org.

Voices of the marginalised

2016

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The aim of 'Voices of the Marginalised' is to bring the perspectives of those who live in poverty or who are highly marginalised, including those with disabilities, older people and people living with mental health problems, into post-2015 policymaking. Focusing on Bangladesh and Tanzania, people with disabilities and older people were asked to become researchers themselves, and were trained to collect and analyse stories from peers in rural and urban areas.

Minimum standards for age and disability inclusion in humanitarian action : pilot version

AGE AND DISABILITY CONSORTIUM
2015

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This pilot version of the Minimum Standards for Age and Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Action has “been developed for use by all practitioners involved in humanitarian response, including staff and volunteers of local, national, and international humanitarian agencies, with the expectation that the inclusion of people with disabilities and older people is feasible at every stage of the response and in every sector and context. The Standards are intended to inform the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian programmes; to strengthen accountability to people with disabilities and older people; and to support advocacy, capacity-building and preparedness measures on age and disability across the humanitarian system

 

The Standards are drawn from a wide-ranging review of existing guidance and standards developed by humanitarian actors over recent years. This includes material from organisations with a special focus on disability and/or older age, together with key documents, including the Sphere Handbook, the Sphere Companion Standards and the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS). The Minimum Standards for Age and Disability Inclusion do not create entirely new demands on humanitarian actors; rather, they clarify and reinforce what is already required if broader standards of impartial humanitarian programming and the principles of the Humanitarian Charter are to be upheld”

“We can also change” Piloting participatory research with persons with disabilities and older people in Bangladesh

BURNS, Danny
OSWALD, Katy
November 2014

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Sightsavers, HelpAge International, ADD International and Alzheimer’s Disease International worked together with the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) to bring the perspectives of those who live in poverty or who are highly marginalised into post-2015 policy making. The aim of the research was to understand better the experiences of social, political and economic exclusion of persons with disabilities and older people in Bangladesh from their own perspectives. Two groups (community and NGO) of peer researchers collected 70 stories from poor and/or excluded persons with disabilities and older people from each of the two sites: Bhashantek, an urban slum in Dhaka; and Cox’s Bazar, a rural area in southeast Bangladesh. From the stories collected and analysed in workshops, the peer researchers identified 13 priority areas that affect persons with disabilities and older people: accidents and disasters; livelihoods; access to education; medical treatment; family support; exclusion and mistreatment; superstition; access to services; mobility; marriage; land; rape and sexual abuse; the role of grassroots community-based organisations. Recommendations from the researchers are made in each area. The peer research programme was evaluated and guidelines for its use are provided.

Hidden victims of the Syria crisis : disabled, injured and older refugees

HELPAGE INTERNATIONAL
HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL
April 2014

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This report presents research undertaken to highlight the number and needs of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon living with impairment, injury and chronic disease – for the purposes of this study these groups are referred to as “people with specific needs”. Throughout the report specific consideration is given to the position of older people with specific needs. Due to access and security constraints it was not possible to collect data in Syria itself, however it is recognised that the needs of refugees identified in the following report will be reflected within Syria, and that in this more extreme humanitarian situation the issues outlined below demand further consideration and response

Disaster resilience in an ageing world : how to make policies and programmes inclusive of older people

HELPAGE INTERNATIONAL
2014

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“This publication aims to promote age-inclusive resilience-building among practitioners and policy-makers. It gives a comprehensive overview of how resilience-building programmes should be designed and implemented to ensure the inclusion of older people. It also highlights the benefits of including and empowering older people through DRR and resilience-building activities. By applying an older people lens to DRR programming, which involves assessing the specific vulnerabilities and capacities of older people and encouraging them to take a more proactive role, we can support older people to become more resilient – with wide ranging benefits for themselves, their families, and their wider communities. We have included case studies to highlight good practice, demonstrating what can be achieved by working for and with older people” 

Sustainable development in an ageing world : a call to UN member states on the development agenda beyond 2015

HELPAGE INTERNATIONAL
AARP OFFICE OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION ON AGING
September 2013

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This paper responds to UN discourse and highlights that the post-2015 development framework should be inclusive of older people along with others and address the rights and needs of people of all ages. It provides recommendations to the UN Member States with regard to ageing and the post 2015 agenda

Mainstreaming ageing into the post-2015 process

BEALES, Sylvia
March 2012

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This policy brief presents information supporting an accountable, rights-based and age-inclusive post-2015 policy framework that supports people across their life course, and across social, economic and environmental domains. It oulines the core issues, areas for action and related recommendations

Ageing in the twenty-first century : a celebration and a challenge

UNITED NATIONS POPULATION FUND (UNPF)
HELP AGE INTERNATIONAL
2012

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"This report, a collaborative effort of the United Nations and other major international organizations working in the area of population ageing, sheds light on progress towards implementing this Plan. It aims to raise awareness about the speed of population ageing and, more generally, about the experience of being old in our changing world. It recommends moving urgently to incorporate ageing issues into national development plans and poverty reduction strategies. It also shows that abuse, neglect and violence against older persons are much more prevalent than currently acknowledged, and points the way towards more effective prevention strategies and stronger legislation that can protect their human rights"

The feasibility of a universal pension in Belize

KNOX-VYDMANOV, Charles
June 2011

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"This study assesses the feasibility of putting in place a universal pension in Belize. The report is structured into five sections. Section one looks at the situation of older people in Belize today in terms of demographics, health, work and poverty. Section two considers the adequacy of the existing social security system, assessing coverage and, in particular, the effectiveness of the NCP in reaching the poorest older people. Following on from this analysis, section three outlines the rationale for a universal pension in Belize, both in terms of the pension system, and the impacts it would have on reducing the poverty of older people, their families and Belizean society as a whole. Section four then assesses the affordability of a universal pension, and section five considers key issues to take into account in implementation"

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