Archive for August 18th, 2005

Help the Aged (UK)

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Working to defeat ageism


Old Age a triumph of development

Population ageing is one of the great triumphs of development, meaning that ‘for the first time in human history the majority of people can expect to survive into old age’.

All of us have opinions about older people, and expectations – possibly fears – of our own ageing process. These may be formed from our own experiences and our relationships with older people, but are probably also affected by the many stereotypes which surround this issue.

Here are some myths and misconceptions about ageing and older people, and some facts which challenge some of our most commonly held beliefs and views.

Help Age International

A significant resource.
Welcome to HelpAge International

…a global network of not-for-profit organisations with a mission to work with and for disadvantaged older people worldwide to achieve a lasting improvement in the quality of their lives.

Aid agencies ignored special needs of elderly people after tsunami

BMJ 2005;331:422 (20 August), doi:10.1136/bmj.331.7514.422

Aid agencies ignored special needs of elderly people after tsunami
Ganapati Mudur New Delhi

Elderly people who survived the Asian tsunami on 26 December last year were unable to get health care, food aid, or cash support because relief packages were not specially designed for them, the non-profit agency HelpAge International has said.

Despite attempts in the past to highlight the vulnerability of elderly people during emergencies, the tsunami relief effort did not take into account the special needs of this group in its initial phase, the agency said in a report released last week.

The tsunami killed more than 300 000 people. It displaced about 92 000 people over the age of 60 in India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Describing the plight of elderly survivors of the tsunami in the four countries, the report said these people became “almost invisible” when relief material was distributed. Many elderly people reported being pushed out of the way by younger people in the chaotic distribution of relief. The report has called on government agencies to include elderly people in needs assessment after disasters and to develop relief packages that are tailored to them.”
Many elderly tsunami survivors with chronic illnesses such as diabetes and cancer faced hardship in resuming treatment, as they had lost their medical papers or could not travel, the report said.
“It’s disappointing,” said Mathew Cherian, chief executive of HelpAge India. “Neither the government machinery nor the international aid fraternity recognised the vulnerability of the elderly. We had drawn attention to how older people in India suffered after the Orissa cyclone in 1999 and the Gujarat earthquake in 2001.”….

The Impact of the Indian Ocean Tsunami on Older People: Issues and Recommendations is available at

O’Folks (off their rocker)

Old age isn't a disease.

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August 2005
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