According to WHO and the World Bank, more than 1 billion people in the world live with some form of disability, and many of those categorised as having a disability are also older people. This prevalence estimate is predicted to increase primarily due to ageing populations and the higher risk of disability in older people, as well as the global increase in chronic health conditions. The non-communicable diseases (NCDs) most commonly associated with disabilities also most commonly affect older people, such as arthritis, heart disease, dementia, hearing disorders, stroke and back pain.
Older people, people with disabilities and older people with disabilities make invaluable contributions to society; however, these groups are often excluded from mainstream development and humanitarian initiatives. Older people with disabilities often encounter barriers in the provision of supports and services, such as stigma, inaccessible environments, inadequate home support services and lack of family support.
Disabled peoples organisations and older peoples organisations should work together to promote the inclusion of older people with disabilities in all aspects of society to attain quality of life and equal access. It is essential that they are included as active participants in development and poverty alleviation programmes, as well as humanitarian responses. This is supported by articles 3, 11, 19, 25, 26, 28, 29 and 30 of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.
The resources in this key list include studies, guides, manuals and websites about ageing and disability in development and humanitarian contexts for people with disabilities, practitioners, communities, and family members. It was compiled and reviewed in partnership with HelpAge International. We welcome your suggestions: please send comments or suggested additions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This study quantifies the funding provided by donors to meet the humanitarian needs of two vulnerable groups, older people and people with disabilities. Projects submitted to humanitarian aid appeals were examined, and the findings conclude that the needs of both older people and people with disabilities are being overlooked by the humanitarian system
This paper presents the issues of older people in accessing water and sanitation facilities in developing countries. Three examples of practical interventions by HelpAge International are provided, and recommendations are highlighted for policy maker and practitioners
This toolkit aims to improve the primary health care response for older persons. The information presented assists health care workers in the diagnosis and management of chronic diseases and the four main issues of memory loss, urinary incontinence, depression and falls/immobility that often impact people as they age. The toolkit contains a number of instruments that can be used by primary health care workers to assess and address older persons' health, such as evaluation forms, slides, figures, graphs, diagrams, scale tables, country guidelines, exam sheets, screening tools, cards, and checklists
Note: The link provided also contains Annex 1: Trainers guide for normal ageing and communication, a Normal Ageing power point presentation and Communication with older people power point presentation
This report reviews the contributions of international NGOs, NGOs, Disabled People Organisations and other stakeholders in the disability and ageing sector. Their responses to mainstreaming disability and/or ageing issues in humanitarian response in Pakistan are presented, and general recommendations are provided. This report would be useful to those who work with disabled and older people in disaster situations
This report finds that interventions aimed at achieving the MDGs must also respond to the intergenerational nature of poverty and to rapid population ageing. It asserts that it is essential to adopt a rights-based approach because this will ensure the needs of the poorest and most marginalised groups are met
This manual is based on Oxfam's experience working with local disabled people's organisations before, during and after the recent crisis in Kosovo. Case studies from West Africa and South and East Asia also show how the principles and training can be translated to a wide range of political and social contexts. It suggests practical materials useful for trainers working in geographically isolated areas without access to sophisticated equipment. Most of the activities and exercises can be adapted for use in groups of people with a wide range of impairments and educational levels. The text is written in clear and simple language
The paper argues that some governmental and non-governmental organizations tend to look at disability and age separately. The paper suggests the common issues for both disabled and older aged people include the need for affordable, accessible housing; affordable, accessible and flexible transportation; as well as a wide range of home support services. The paper calls for greater focus on the overlapping needs of older aged and disabled people so policies meet support needs more closely
Informed by WHO's approach to active ageing, the purpose of this guide is to engage cities to become more age-friendly so as to tap the potential that older people represent for humanity. An age-friendly city encourages active ageing by optimising opportunities for health, participation and security in order to enhance the quality of life of older people. Working with groups on 33 cities in all WHO regions, WHO asked older people in focus groups to describe the advantages and barriers they experience in 8 areas of city living. The results from these led to the development of a set of age-friendly city checklists
Given the lack of attention to older people in shelter programmes, these guidelines provide the following five key action points for including older people in shelter programmes: understand the needs and capacities of older people; ensure that older people participate and are represented; target vulnerable older people; incorporate age-friendly in both household and community shelters; and promote coordination, cooperation and sharing. Clear information is provided for each action point action supported by case studies, and the recommendations provide a framework for the different phases of a shelter programme (temporary, transitional and permanent). This resource is useful for people interested in including older people in emergency shelter programmes
This Guidance Note provides DFID staff with an overview of how to ensure the needs of older persons and people with disabilities, including people with injuries and chronic diseases, are addressed in humanitarian response
"This Background Note focuses on inequalities associated with old age, disability and mental health. It argues that these should be considered salient sources of group-based difference, given the numbers of people affected, their marginalisation and vulnerability, and their relative neglect in international agreements to date. This note identifies a lack of data as a particular concern, but one that can be addressed through revisions to standard household surveys. To this end, the paper discusses the available data and their limitations, constraints to better data collection and efforts needed to adjust key international survey instruments -the World Bank’s Core Welfare Indicator Questionnaire (CWIQ) and Living Standards and Measurement Survey (LSMS), Macro International’s Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) and the UNICEF Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS)- to collect reliable data on these issues. It sets out technical adjustments that would enable these surveys to broaden their coverage, collect richer information and improve their identification of these three groups. It concludes by commenting on how measures to address the inequalities that affect these groups could be incorporated within a new post-2015 framework agreement"
ODI Background note
This analysis highlights factors that particularly affect older people in emergencies, especially health-related concerns. It also proposes a strategy to raise awareness about older people in emergencies, and recommends policies and practices to address these considerations. It sets out objectives for the three phases of an emergency response: the preparedness phase; the emergency response and operations phase; and the recovery and transition phase
This report considers the contribution that older people can make during natural or conflict-related emergencies and in reconstruction phases. It describes the converging trends of rapid growth of the population over 60 years of age and of health emergencies, and outlines the resulting challenges. It then outlines the basic elements of emergency planning, drawing on case studies to identify the impacts of these situations on older people; it looks at the WHO Active Ageing policy framework; and offers a policy response
The rapid increase in the older population worldwide poses new challenges, particularly in resource poor countries and in emergency settings. Older people are particularly vulnerable to the effects of natural disaster or conflict and less able to adapt to sudden disruptions in their lives. They can also make crucial contributions to their communities, caring for orphans, providing inter-generational support, helping resolve conflicts, offering their knowledge on alternative and traditional healing practices. This document looks in some detail at both the needs and strengths of the elderly in emergencies and calls for greater promotion of the rights of older people, their inclusion in all stages of humanitarian interventions, mainstreaming and allocation of adequate resources for older people's protection
"This paper examines the challenges which older persons and persons with disabilities face in accessing protection, including assistance, in situations of displacement. It reviews current policies on the protection of displaced older persons and those with disabilities; highlights the main protection challenges faced by these individuals; and outlines efforts made by UNHCR and partners to respond to these challenges. Finally, it summarizes the key areas for attention and follow-up in the next three years to improve its performance in providing protection and support to older persons and persons with disabilities"
This report presents the main risk factors for disability in old age and how it can be prevented. It provides a synthesis of the best available evidence, including a summary of the main findings and policy options related to the topic. It is useful for people interested in disability in old age
This report provides a global picture of the economic impact of Alzheimer's disease and dementia. "The report includes an estimate of the worldwide cost of dementia, including direct medical costs, direct non-medical costs and costs of informal (family) care. The estimates are broken down by world region and include analysis of the differences between low and high income countries. The report also contains important policy recommendations and makes clear to key decision-makers that doing nothing is not an option"
"This issue highlights the way that society discriminates against people who are old and disabled (focusing mainly on physical disabilities; issue 65 will look at mental health). It suggests how older and disabled people’s organisations can work together to raise awareness of the needs, rights and potential of disabled older people, and it looks at some practical ways to improve the opportunities for disabled older people to participate in society"
Ageways Issue 64
This newsletter discusses policy implications and practical responses related to ageing and dementia
Ageways Issue 78
This article assesses "the contribution of physical, mental, and cognitive chronic diseases to disability, and the extent to which sociodemographic and health characteristics account for geographical variation in disability." Using cross sectional surveys of people aged over 65 in seven low and middle income countries, the findings highlight specific associations of chronic diseases to disability and overall that dementia, not blindness, is overwhelmingly the most important independent contributor to disability for elderly people in low and middle income countries. This resource is useful to people interested in the contribution of chronic diseases to disability in elderly people
The Lancet, Vol 374, Issue 97041
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"This paper examines the quality of care provided by old age homes in developing countries. It draws attention to the growing demand for such services and the emergence of a largely unregulated private sector. The paper reviews the findings of a survey of 101 private old age homes conducted in Buenos Aires, Argentina during 2004 and 2005. This reveals that the quality of care leaves much to be desired, and that the rights, autonomy and dignity of older people are often neglected. Particular issues of concern are the repressive managerial structures (including the use of restraints and medication), questionable processes of admission, and limited support for dependent residents. The paper calls for long term care to be given a higher policy profile in developing countries than is currently the case"
Journal of Population Ageing, Vol 2, No 1-2
The 10/66 Dementia Research Group is a collective of researchers carrying out population-based research into dementia, non-communicable diseases and ageing in low and middle income countries. This website features general information about the group, highlights their research and policy work, and provides details about their participants. Additional sections are given for links to their newsletter, other news items and registration. This website is useful to anyone interested in population-based research into dementia, non-communicable diseases and ageing in low and middle income countries
This WHO website presents information about the ageing of populations around the world. It highlights global programmes and networks, as well as challenges, opportunities and initiatives for developed and developing countries. It also contains links to specific topics and programmes, useful factsheets, publications and related organizations. This resource is useful for people interested in ageing and the life course