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Your Later Life Q3 2022

Helping the forgotten generation of the Ukraine conflict

Image provided by Age International

Vishnee Sauntoo

Head of Communications, Age International

The conflict in Ukraine has destroyed homes, communities and lives. Older people make up a quarter of the country’s population, and they need support more than ever before.

Many older people have been unable to flee to safety due to health or mobility problems. With their families, friends and neighbours gone, they are now facing this war alone without daily necessities and medicine.

Urgent needs

Research carried out by our partner, HelpAge, shows that seven in ten older people need medicine and healthcare, whilst six in ten need hygiene items. However, the most urgent need, for almost three quarters — is cash — which gives older people the freedom to access what they need.

Those who have been able to either move to safer areas of Ukraine or escape to places like Moldova and Poland are experiencing shock and trauma from the suffering they have endured. Older people are among over 8 million people displaced from their homes and the 6.6 million refugees fleeing the conflict. They now require support to access the services they need and to navigate life in new countries.

I tell my granddaughter that we are like beggars now.


Surviving the war

Raisa and her husband Alexander, both in their seventies, had to make a difficult decision when they were evacuated from their home in Severodonetsk with the help of volunteers.

Raisa says: “We spent all the time in the corridor of our apartment because the basement is down a set of stairs, and I have a back problem. Younger people could run and hide whenever there was shelling, but I was not ready for those runs. We could have stayed in the basement all the time, but it was cold and damp down there.

I tell my granddaughter that we are like beggars now. Nothing belongs to us here. I cry every day because I want to go back home.

War is scary. War destroys families. But I think young people take it much easier. The younger ones still have time to make money and create something. But this is our last stop, I would say.”

Relief efforts

Age International has been working in Ukraine to provide support to older people isolated in their homes. We distribute food, medicines and hygiene items and support older people who have been uprooted from their homes.

Thanks to the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal, we have been able to escalate our response. However, as the conflict continues, we urgently need support to reach more people who need us.
To support Age International, visit: www.ageinternational.org.uk/ukraine-appeal

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