Fast facts of War and Loneliness of older adults

Military conflicts are traumatic to all the people who are affected by them but older persons are touched in most areas:

  • their health deteriorates since their needs are not met,
  • they are isolated from their families and supporting organizations,
  • they are reluctant to leave their homes which exposes them on higher risk of being wounded, abused or killed,
  • they cannot escape due to their physical conditio or lack of mobility,
  • they are targets of reprisals,
  • as refugees they suffer more from psychological and physical consequences of displacement, they have difficulty in adapting to new environment,
  • their material and financial situation is unstable and often they are deprived of any financial support.

The war in Ukraine which started on February 24, 2022 forced 4,176,401 of people (as of 2 April 2022) – a disproportinate number of them older – to flee Ukraine and become refugees. But the conflict itself started in 2014 causing many persons aged 60+ living in the eastern Ukraine suffer from isolation, loneliness, risk of abuse and attack. To fight with adverse effects of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict many organizations and institutions provide help and support to the elderly. Age International, a non-profit organization, provides help and support in the eastern Ukraine since 2014. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has launched in 2000 The Policy on Older Refugees. The organization provides also a guide about  Working with Older Persons in Forced Displacement as well as an Emergency Handbook on Older Adults.

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