Global ageing matters

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This presentation looks at the work of HelpAge International and Age UK to support older people around the world to lead the best lives possible.

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  • As you all know, Age UK was formed out of the merger of Age Concern England and Help the Aged. What you may not know is that both of those organisations carried out international work. We have inherited that work and developed it further. Help the Aged was originally set up as an international organisation to assist older people affected by a cyclone in former East Pakistan and an earthquake in the Former Yugoslavia in 1961. In 1973, a group of Scottish schoolchildren approached the charity wanting to know how they could help older people in developing countries: and from there arose the Adopt a Granny scheme, now known as Sponsor a Grandparent. In 1983, with our international work expanding ever more, Help the Aged set up HelpAge International as a network of ageing organisations focusing on development and as a development agency supporting long-term development work and short-term emergency relief. We work very closely with our sister organisation HelpAge International, to whom we currently give £5.4 million a year for long-term development programmes. We also pass onto them the proceeds of international appeals run by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), of which Age UK is a member. (HelpAge International income is £21.5 million). The work we inherited from Age Concern England included direct partnerships in Russia, Ukraine, Serbia, Bosnia and Albania; international and EU influencing work; supporting the Info & Advice team when they need specialist info on working with ex-pats. And sharing good practice between Age UK and local partners in the UK with partners overseas to enable them to build their knowledge and transfer skills. Age Concern England also set up a DFID-funded development education project with Age Concerns in Devon, Northampton, Oxford, Salford, Stockport and Warwickshire (ending this month). As Age UK, we are carrying on all this work.
  • So we help older people to work by: providing micro-credit, community welfare funds and grants to start small enterprises Providing seeds, tools and irrigation systems so older people can harvest their crops; Helping to set up older people’s associations so they can lobby banks for credit and loans; Teaching older people how to market their produce so they get a better price for it and can compete with other sellers We also support livestock banks so older people can have a source of food and income. For example, in Tanzania, goats are distributed to older people who then rear them for milk and food. As the goat starts to produce kids, the recipient must give the first one back to the breeding centre, so someone else can benefit. Thus the project is self-sustaining and expands over time to reach more and more older people.
  • So, we all know that we are living longer, but what is perhaps less well known is that this phenomenon is not just exclusive to developed nations. By 2045, people aged 60 and over worldwide will outnumber children under 14 and 80% of these will be living in the developing world. The number of people aged over 60 is predicted to rise steeply over the coming years. People over 60 currently make up 10% of the global population. By 2050, it is estimated that one in five of the population will be aged over 60 However, despite this, the needs of older people are routinely overlooked by governments and non-governmental organisations alike. So this is why the work of Age UK and Help Age International is so necessary
  • So, we all know that we are living longer, but what is perhaps less well known is that this phenomenon is not just exclusive to developed nations. By 2045, people aged 60 and over worldwide will outnumber children under 14 and 80% of these will be living in the developing world. The number of people aged over 60 is predicted to rise steeply over the coming years. People over 60 currently make up 10% of the global population. By 2050, it is estimated that one in five of the population will be aged over 60 However, despite this, the needs of older people are routinely overlooked by governments and non-governmental organisations alike. So this is why the work of Age UK and Help Age International is so necessary
  • So, we all know that we are living longer, but what is perhaps less well known is that this phenomenon is not just exclusive to developed nations. By 2045, people aged 60 and over worldwide will outnumber children under 14 and 80% of these will be living in the developing world. The number of people aged over 60 is predicted to rise steeply over the coming years. People over 60 currently make up 10% of the global population. By 2050, it is estimated that one in five of the population will be aged over 60 However, despite this, the needs of older people are routinely overlooked by governments and non-governmental organisations alike. So this is why the work of Age UK and Help Age International is so necessary
  • 80% of older people in developing countries do not have a regular income. Less than 5% receive any kind of pension. So most older people need to continue working until the day they die and have no choice but to take poorly paid, unsafe or irregular work to support themselves and their families Of course, older people may find it difficult to get a job because of mobility or health problems. They may grow crops on their own land, but not know how to market them in order to get a good price They may want to start their own small enterprise, but be hampered by banks which refuse older people credit because they consider them to be a bad risk.
  • So we help older people to work by: providing micro-credit, community welfare funds and grants to start small enterprises Providing seeds, tools and irrigation systems so older people can harvest their crops; Helping to set up older people’s associations so they can lobby banks for credit and loans; Teaching older people how to market their produce so they get a better price for it and can compete with other sellers We also support livestock banks so older people can have a source of food and income. For example, in Tanzania, goats are distributed to older people who then rear them for milk and food. As the goat starts to produce kids, the recipient must give the first one back to the breeding centre, so someone else can benefit. Thus the project is self-sustaining and expands over time to reach more and more older people.
  • So we help older people to work by: providing micro-credit, community welfare funds and grants to start small enterprises Providing seeds, tools and irrigation systems so older people can harvest their crops; Helping to set up older people’s associations so they can lobby banks for credit and loans; Teaching older people how to market their produce so they get a better price for it and can compete with other sellers We also support livestock banks so older people can have a source of food and income. For example, in Tanzania, goats are distributed to older people who then rear them for milk and food. As the goat starts to produce kids, the recipient must give the first one back to the breeding centre, so someone else can benefit. Thus the project is self-sustaining and expands over time to reach more and more older people.
  • Working with local partners and Affiliates we: Ensure older people know about help to which they are entitled and help them prove their entitlement by assisting them to obtain ID papers and birth certificates; * We also work with some governments to implement cash transfer schemes, or pilot pension projects, to show how easily they can help lift older people out of poverty Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and yet it has a social pension. All resident Bolivian citizens aged over 60 receive a monthly payment, known as the Bonosol To register, Bolivians need identification documents, but many poor Bolivians do not have these – particularly if they live in rural areas. So, we are helping older people get birth certificates so they can claim their pension. 77 year old Pascal says ‘The Bonosol has benefited many older people and allows us to pay off debts, help out in the house and pay for medicines. This year I am waiting for the Bonosol to pay for an eye operation.’ We also carry out economic studies and implement pilot schemes in developing countries to demonstrate the social impact and affordability of universal pensions. For example, our research has shown that older people often spend their pension on their extended family. In rural Brazil, households with a pensioner in them are more likely to send girls to school. In South Africa, girls are on average 3cm taller in homes with a grandmother in receipt of a pension, due to the improved diet
  • Working with local partners and Affiliates we: Ensure older people know about help to which they are entitled and help them prove their entitlement by assisting them to obtain ID papers and birth certificates; * We also work with some governments to implement cash transfer schemes, or pilot pension projects, to show how easily they can help lift older people out of poverty Bolivia is the poorest country in South America and yet it has a social pension. All resident Bolivian citizens aged over 60 receive a monthly payment, known as the Bonosol To register, Bolivians need identification documents, but many poor Bolivians do not have these – particularly if they live in rural areas. So, we are helping older people get birth certificates so they can claim their pension. 77 year old Pascal says ‘The Bonosol has benefited many older people and allows us to pay off debts, help out in the house and pay for medicines. This year I am waiting for the Bonosol to pay for an eye operation.’ We also carry out economic studies and implement pilot schemes in developing countries to demonstrate the social impact and affordability of universal pensions. For example, our research has shown that older people often spend their pension on their extended family. In rural Brazil, households with a pensioner in them are more likely to send girls to school. In South Africa, girls are on average 3cm taller in homes with a grandmother in receipt of a pension, due to the improved diet
  • Three quarters of the world’s older people live in areas affected by regular natural disasters and conflict. Older people are particularly vulnerable in disasters and often overlooked in emergency relief efforts by both governments and non-governmental organisations alike In the chaos of a major emergency, the frailest older people may be unable to queue for aid distribution; they may be isolated or unable to travel long distances or endure even relatively short periods without shelter. In regions hit by frequent disasters, famine or conflict, older people may have suffered repeated personal losses. And when communities return home after a disaster, older people typically face difficulties in accessing land and other scarce resources. Following the Asian tsunami in 2004, 75 year old Perumal in Sri Lanka told us ‘I have been pushed out on earlier occasions and have fallen on the ground. I know I will get nothing this time round too. … The fastest get the food, The strongest wins. Older people and the injured don’t get anything.’
  • In crises, we ensure that the interests of older people are represented and met. Every emergency is different, but our responses include: Deploying specialist staff to the emergency; Funding local partner organisations to distribute age-friendly relief packages; Providing training and resource materials about older people’s needs to other aid agencies; Working with older people’s groups on recovery and rebuilding of homes and livelihoods; Providing health and social support to older people living in refugee camps; Working with communities in disaster prone areas to prepare for future emergencies, often by training and equipping networks of older volunteers. Following the tsunami, our local partners organised separate relief distributions for vulnerable people. We gave older people and those with disabilities a token to bring to the collection point to exchange for an aid package. Seating was provided while they waited and easy-access transport arranged to and from collection points. We also provided emergency food rations that could be eaten by older people who may have difficulty chewing, digesting or absorbing certain foods; and put it in packaging that could be easily opened by people who may have arthritic fingers.
  • So we help older people to work by: providing micro-credit, community welfare funds and grants to start small enterprises Providing seeds, tools and irrigation systems so older people can harvest their crops; Helping to set up older people’s associations so they can lobby banks for credit and loans; Teaching older people how to market their produce so they get a better price for it and can compete with other sellers We also support livestock banks so older people can have a source of food and income. For example, in Tanzania, goats are distributed to older people who then rear them for milk and food. As the goat starts to produce kids, the recipient must give the first one back to the breeding centre, so someone else can benefit. Thus the project is self-sustaining and expands over time to reach more and more older people.
  • So we help older people to work by: providing micro-credit, community welfare funds and grants to start small enterprises Providing seeds, tools and irrigation systems so older people can harvest their crops; Helping to set up older people’s associations so they can lobby banks for credit and loans; Teaching older people how to market their produce so they get a better price for it and can compete with other sellers We also support livestock banks so older people can have a source of food and income. For example, in Tanzania, goats are distributed to older people who then rear them for milk and food. As the goat starts to produce kids, the recipient must give the first one back to the breeding centre, so someone else can benefit. Thus the project is self-sustaining and expands over time to reach more and more older people.
  • Throughout the world and particularly in low-income countries, more older people die from malnutrition, respiratory diseases and TB than any other age group, including children aged 0-14 years. Poor countries are home to two thirds of the world’s people living with chronic health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s). The world’s population is ageing fast in developing regions, where health services are already inadequate. Travelling to health clinics and hospitals can be impossible for older people with mobility problems or if transport is unaffordable. Discrimination of older people by staff and lack of specialist knowledge in the health conditions of older people mean health services often fail the poorest older people. In countries where governments have introduced free or reduced-cost healthcare for older people, many of the most vulnerable are not benefiting because they don’t know about their entitlement or lack the papers to prove their age. HIV and AIDS initiatives often exclude older people. Information about prevention is almost entirely targeted at the young, denying older people the opportunity to protect themselves and educate their children and grandchildren.
  • Throughout the world and particularly in low-income countries, more older people die from malnutrition, respiratory diseases and TB than any other age group, including children aged 0-14 years. Poor countries are home to two thirds of the world’s people living with chronic health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s). The world’s population is ageing fast in developing regions, where health services are already inadequate. Travelling to health clinics and hospitals can be impossible for older people with mobility problems or if transport is unaffordable. Discrimination of older people by staff and lack of specialist knowledge in the health conditions of older people mean health services often fail the poorest older people. In countries where governments have introduced free or reduced-cost healthcare for older people, many of the most vulnerable are not benefiting because they don’t know about their entitlement or lack the papers to prove their age. HIV and AIDS initiatives often exclude older people. Information about prevention is almost entirely targeted at the young, denying older people the opportunity to protect themselves and educate their children and grandchildren.
  • Throughout the world and particularly in low-income countries, more older people die from malnutrition, respiratory diseases and TB than any other age group, including children aged 0-14 years. Poor countries are home to two thirds of the world’s people living with chronic health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s). The world’s population is ageing fast in developing regions, where health services are already inadequate. Travelling to health clinics and hospitals can be impossible for older people with mobility problems or if transport is unaffordable. Discrimination of older people by staff and lack of specialist knowledge in the health conditions of older people mean health services often fail the poorest older people. In countries where governments have introduced free or reduced-cost healthcare for older people, many of the most vulnerable are not benefiting because they don’t know about their entitlement or lack the papers to prove their age. HIV and AIDS initiatives often exclude older people. Information about prevention is almost entirely targeted at the young, denying older people the opportunity to protect themselves and educate their children and grandchildren.
  • Throughout the world and particularly in low-income countries, more older people die from malnutrition, respiratory diseases and TB than any other age group, including children aged 0-14 years. Poor countries are home to two thirds of the world’s people living with chronic health conditions (such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke and Alzheimer’s). The world’s population is ageing fast in developing regions, where health services are already inadequate. Travelling to health clinics and hospitals can be impossible for older people with mobility problems or if transport is unaffordable. Discrimination of older people by staff and lack of specialist knowledge in the health conditions of older people mean health services often fail the poorest older people. In countries where governments have introduced free or reduced-cost healthcare for older people, many of the most vulnerable are not benefiting because they don’t know about their entitlement or lack the papers to prove their age. HIV and AIDS initiatives often exclude older people. Information about prevention is almost entirely targeted at the young, denying older people the opportunity to protect themselves and educate their children and grandchildren.
  • 80% of older people in developing countries do not have a regular income. Less than 5% receive any kind of pension. So most older people need to continue working until the day they die and have no choice but to take poorly paid, unsafe or irregular work to support themselves and their families Of course, older people may find it difficult to get a job because of mobility or health problems. They may grow crops on their own land, but not know how to market them in order to get a good price They may want to start their own small enterprise, but be hampered by banks which refuse older people credit because they consider them to be a bad risk.
  • So, that is a brief introduction to the international work of Age UK. In my job, I am fortunate enough to be able to travel twice a year to meet, interview and photograph beneficiaries of our projects. It is my job to be their voice. Thi Thu and Van Quang are Vietnamese. They are a loving, warm and friendly couple They looked forward to their old age as a time when they would be able to retire and be looked after by their children … Instead, they have nursed one of their sons through HIV, until his death due to an AIDS related illness in 2005. They have brought up two of their grandchildren orphaned by AIDS. They are caring for another son who is HIV positive. And they are having to continue to work in order to support their family. This isn’t the retirement they expected Van Quang attends a local OPA, called an Empathy Club and he says ‘Since being involved in the Empathy Club, I feel much better spiritually, mentally and physically. I have to try my best to think positively so I can stay healthy. I need to be healthy so I can look after my grandson. My physical health is much better because my mental health is better. And that gives me energy to look after my grandson. My only happiness left is to look after my grandson because my two sons have died. With him and my sisters from the Empathy Club, I am not alone. And that makes me so happy.’ I’d be so happy if you could help me be the voice of Thi Thu and Van Quang and the million older people living on less than one dollar a day
  • So, that is a brief introduction to the international work of Age UK. In my job, I am fortunate enough to be able to travel twice a year to meet, interview and photograph beneficiaries of our projects. It is my job to be their voice. Thi Thu and Van Quang are Vietnamese. They are a loving, warm and friendly couple They looked forward to their old age as a time when they would be able to retire and be looked after by their children … Instead, they have nursed one of their sons through HIV, until his death due to an AIDS related illness in 2005. They have brought up two of their grandchildren orphaned by AIDS. They are caring for another son who is HIV positive. And they are having to continue to work in order to support their family. This isn’t the retirement they expected Van Quang attends a local OPA, called an Empathy Club and he says ‘Since being involved in the Empathy Club, I feel much better spiritually, mentally and physically. I have to try my best to think positively so I can stay healthy. I need to be healthy so I can look after my grandson. My physical health is much better because my mental health is better. And that gives me energy to look after my grandson. My only happiness left is to look after my grandson because my two sons have died. With him and my sisters from the Empathy Club, I am not alone. And that makes me so happy.’ I’d be so happy if you could help me be the voice of Thi Thu and Van Quang and the million older people living on less than one dollar a day
  • Global ageing matters

    1. 1. Global ageing matters The international work of Age UK June 2011
    2. 2. An Ageing Society <ul><li>The ageing of humanity across the world is a defining stage in history. It will change everything from business and finance to society and culture” Age Quake Wallace </li></ul><ul><li>Life expectancy is extending worldwide, fertility rates are falling, and demographic ageing is accelerating </li></ul><ul><li>Despite the weight of scientific evidence, the significance of population aging and it’s global implications have yet to be fully appreciated” U.S. Department of State March 2007 </li></ul>
    3. 4. Ageing & Gender
    4. 5. Where we work <ul><li>5 Regional Development Centres </li></ul><ul><li>11 Country Offices </li></ul><ul><li>Implement programmes in over 50 countries </li></ul><ul><li>86 Affiliated organisations and over 200 partners </li></ul>
    5. 6. Global network; currently over 50 countries with 86 Affiliates <ul><li>76% are OP focussed </li></ul><ul><li>24% focus on older people in their overall work </li></ul><ul><li>Each have direct work with older people </li></ul><ul><li>Each can show good practice with older people </li></ul>
    6. 7. Areas of International Work <ul><li>Work </li></ul><ul><li>Social protection </li></ul><ul><li>Emergencies </li></ul><ul><li>Rights </li></ul><ul><li>Health </li></ul><ul><li>HIV and AIDS </li></ul><ul><li>Sponsor a Grandparent </li></ul>
    7. 8. People need to work
    8. 9. Work & Sustainable Livelihoods <ul><li>Secure, decent, properly paid and productive </li></ul><ul><li>Safe conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Universal social security </li></ul><ul><li>Special support in challenging environments </li></ul>
    9. 10. Actions <ul><li>2,100 Older People’s Associations are involved in income generating work reaching more than 60,000 older people: provision of inputs such as livestock or materials, as well as literacy and numeracy training, marketing and financial management. </li></ul><ul><li>53,000 older people are working to reduce their vulnerability to shocks related to seasonal poverty and climate change: older farmers are being supported in crop diversification, livestock, land retention and land use. </li></ul><ul><li>30,000 older people are being supported to access new financial services such as micro-credit and loans: inappropriate lending criteria and age discrimination of lenders is being challenged. </li></ul>
    10. 11. Social Protection <ul><li>Social justice, rights </li></ul><ul><li>Economic development </li></ul><ul><li>Social stability </li></ul><ul><li>Poverty alleviation </li></ul><ul><li>Peace and prosperity </li></ul><ul><li>Citizen state accountability </li></ul>
    11. 12. Actions <ul><li>Promotion of social pension schemes </li></ul><ul><li>Expansion of existing benefit and pensions schemes to build universal coverage </li></ul><ul><li>National institution building including building capacities of officials and citizens </li></ul><ul><li>Generating evidence of impact and implementation </li></ul><ul><li>Support older people to monitor delivery of entitlements </li></ul><ul><li>Deliver and advocate for essential social assistance and services </li></ul><ul><li>In 2010 HelpAge Belize successfully lobbied for a non-contributory pension. </li></ul><ul><li>HelpAge Kenya worked closely with Minster of Finance to increase money received through cash transfers </li></ul>
    12. 13. Emergency response & Disaster Risk Reduction <ul><li>Age Awareness; numbers, trends, gender, location </li></ul><ul><li>Adapted age inclusive relief and resettlement </li></ul><ul><li>Improved data and age inclusive cluster work </li></ul><ul><li>Age friendly guidelines and training </li></ul><ul><li>Age specific services </li></ul><ul><li>Consultation </li></ul>
    13. 14. ACTIONS <ul><li>Responding directly in crises and strengthening preparedness </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation – what is happening? </li></ul><ul><li>Influencing and changing humanitarian policy and practice </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting Older Persons Associations (OPAs) to contribute </li></ul><ul><li>Developing older people practices </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging older Persons solidarity, income generation and voice </li></ul><ul><li>In 2010 HelpAge USA and AARP raised $1.5 million for Haiti </li></ul>
    14. 15. Rights <ul><li>Recognition and action on rights in older age </li></ul><ul><li>Action to stop abuse and discrimination </li></ul><ul><li>Explore new mechanisms – a convention? </li></ul><ul><li>Educating older people on their rights </li></ul>
    15. 16. Actions <ul><li>National ageing policy development </li></ul><ul><li>Delivering programmes – Socio legal Centres, Older Citizen Monitoring </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation of abuses </li></ul><ul><li>Working within the UN rights system – Human rights Council, CEDAW </li></ul><ul><li>Build commitment to a new convention </li></ul><ul><li>RECEWAPEC met with Prime Minister to follow up the call for the National Policy on Ageing including; support for income generating activities, decent shelter and fight against discrimination </li></ul>
    16. 17. Health <ul><li>Affordable and appropriate health services </li></ul><ul><li>Support for social and informal care </li></ul><ul><li>Health system reforms to focus on NCDs </li></ul><ul><li>Improve access to services for older people </li></ul>
    17. 18. Actions <ul><li>Improve older people’s access to government health care </li></ul><ul><li>Documentation and guidelines for replication </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor and improve the age friendliness of government health services </li></ul><ul><li>Increase and improve the delivery of homecare services </li></ul><ul><li>Improve older people’s access to eye care and restore sight </li></ul><ul><li>Advocate for focus on Non Communicable Diseases including mental health issues </li></ul><ul><li>Strategic partnerships including Alzheimer's International and WHO </li></ul><ul><li>RIC provides health treatment and diagnosis support to Older Women in 5 unions of 3 districts under the “Coordinated Support for the older Women in Bangladesh Project” </li></ul>
    18. 19. HIV and AIDS <ul><li>Securing universal access to prevention care and treatment </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting intergenerational interdependence </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding caring roles; access to support </li></ul><ul><li>Action on risk of infection </li></ul><ul><li>Filling in data gaps </li></ul>
    19. 20. ACTIONS <ul><li>Replicable services to older people and those in their care; focus on gender </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting national responses in Africa and Asia; policy, budgets, data analysis and advocacy </li></ul><ul><li>Continuing advocacy with, and support to, regional bodies in Africa and Asia as well as international bodies </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing the visibility of older people in the work, reports and statistics of others; partnerships ie UNICEF and UNAIDS </li></ul><ul><li>Supporting older people to support each other: Empathy clubs; home care </li></ul><ul><li>Intergenerational approaches to care </li></ul><ul><li>SCAZ attended the UN high level meeting to highlight the key role of older persons as carers </li></ul>
    20. 21. Sponsor a Grandparent (SaG) <ul><li>Started in 1973 </li></ul><ul><li>Provides support in 31 countries through 251 partners </li></ul><ul><li>49,500 older people receiving support (65% women) </li></ul><ul><li>175,00 SaG services being accessed by older persons across 5 regions </li></ul><ul><li>Programme areas include; health, livelihoods, HIV and AIDS, discrimination & abuse, psycho social support and social protection </li></ul><ul><li>Services help to provide food security, clean water, cash transfers, medical care, training… </li></ul>
    21. 22. Older people are not just victims… <ul><li>Older people make critical contributions to the welfare of their families and thus to the development of their communities and societies </li></ul><ul><li>In the context of the HIV/AIDS, older women frequently act as the sole carers of their children dying of the disease and their grandchildren left orphaned </li></ul>
    22. 23. Age Demands Action

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