Elder People and DRR

Elder People and DRR
Elder People and DRR
Elder People and DRR
Elder People and DRR
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  • Elder people and DRR

    According to international classification, people reaching 65 years of age are

    defined as elders. However, in the Republic of Armenia the age 63 is defined

    as retirement age. According to the data of the World Health Organization, in

    2050 2bn. people in world will be 60 years old or more.As of January 1, 2015,

    the number of 63 years old people constitutes 371.3 thousand or 12.3% of

    population. Women constitute 59.7% of elders and 15.6 % of elders are

    people with disabilities.

    Unlike other representatives of society, the elder people cannot immediately

    react to hazards and risks for responding to emergencies, are less mobile and

    are dependent on the others.

    The vulnerability of elders and their capacities are often ignored during

    emergencies, whereas the collection of data about age and sex can make the

    needs of people in DRR visible.

    Life experience, skills and knowledge of elders can be valuable in different

    DRR processes which should be appreciated, valued and included in the

    proposals, thus promoting their participation in program development,

    realization and assessment stages.

    Often elder people leaving 60 years and more may experience the hazards for

    several times in their life. Many of them, based on their experience, know

    well what to do, are ready to help and assist the people who appeared in

    difficult situations.

  • However, elder people are very often vulnerable and have special needsespecially when they have age-related chronic diseases limiting to certainextent their mobility, cognitive or other functions. They may havepsychological depression caused by emergencies. They become alsovulnerable due to social and economic constraints hindering them to beprepared for hazards, response and adapt to them. In addition, they are notproperly informed about possible hazards.

    The RA legislation specifies that elder people should be ensured by decent

    standard of living. The RA legislation and policy are directed to social

    protection of elder people. The RA Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs

    highlights, as central issues of the sphere, improvement of quality of

    provided social service and care to the elder people, access and affordability

    of services, improvement of care and social services, as well as sanitary and

    hygiene conditions of care homes etc.

    In the legal acts regulating DRR sphere, the needs of elders like the needs of

    disabled people are not addressed.

    The criteria of including the elder people in DRR should be based on the

    following three principles:

    Legislation

    Main principles of involving elder people in DRR

    Legislation

    Main principles of involving elder people in DRR

    addressing special needs in all DRR processes,

    collection of data according to age and sex,

    involvement of elders in DRR projects taking into account their life

    experience and knowledge.

    Elder people are particularly addressed in disaster management and climate

    polices, requiring direct actions in planning, budgeting and training stages.

    Consideration of vulnerability and capacities of elders during assessment of

    local and national hazards and climate risks,

    Warning messages and information are accessible, understandable and

    applicable by elder people.

    Concrete actions for evacuation plans at local level ensuring evacuation and

    protection of elders, including actions envisaged for elders with limited mobility,speech and hearing impairments and psychological disorders.

    Disaster supplies and stocks including assistive devices, medicines and food are

    required and accessible to elders during disasters.

    Evacuation and leisure centers are equipped with benches above the ground,

    handrails, have access to wheelchairs and are separated for men and women.

    Collection of statistic data according to sex, age, disability for the following

    age groups: 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80+ in disaster management and risk

    Indicators ensuring the fulfillment of these principles are as

    follows:

    Indicators ensuring the fulfillment of these principles are as

    follows:

  • how to receive regular updated information about emergencies,

    developments and course of events by stationary telephone, cellular phone,

    computer, radio, TV or other means of communication,

    chose safe and familiar places to assemble together with family members

    during emergencies,

    set up individual support group comprising of family members, relatives,

    neighbors, community members etc,

    have individual essential belongings, ready-to-use food and water, first aid

    kits, candles or torches, copies of important documents in waterproof bags

    etc.

    create informational medical list including the name and contacts of

    medical doctor and diagnosis, state the use of special assistive appliances,

    allergy diseases or other needs of elders. Prepare medicines for seven days

    in case of not having an opportunity to contact or find these medicines,

    make emergency information list for the others to know whom to apply if

    you need an assistance,

    install fire safety system in the house, test it, develop and test the evacuation

    plan for several times,

    make the houses, places where the elders mostly stay safe, move or remove the

    furniture that can close exits.

    reduction initiatives.

    Training of health, search, rescue, management, coordination, food,

    protection staff for working with elderly people and responding to their specific

    needs during emergencies.

    Knowledge, skills and contributions of elderly people in disaster risk

    management are recognized and promoted at high levels.

    Elder people have access to cash transfers and livelihoods recovery

    initiatives.

    Flexible and climate-smart initiatives include elder people who

    continue working.

    Elder people are presented in DRR management process by the

    community and at national level for ensuring their voices to be heard.

    Active social protection system, availability and access to pensions,

    operating cash transfer mechanisms. Elder people have access to hazard

    insurance and risk directed transfer mechanisms.

    Actions for elder people and members of their families

    One of the essential preconditions for supporting elders is development of

    individual action plans, as well as development of their capacities for

    preventing and responding to disaster risks. These activities should include the

    following actions:

    develop family communication plan providing information on how to

    inform each other about disaster risks, how and who to contact,

    Preparatory work. Main actions

  • diabetes, cardiovascular and respiratory diseases. In case of emergencies the

    elders should have insulin, pills improving blood coagulation.

    8. Works with guardians or supporting services if elder people live alone and

    receive medical treatment and care at home. They must be ready to respond to

    emergencies and provide assistance in case of necessity.

    9. Senior homes and special institutions where elder people live should be in

    the focus of attention. They must feel safe and secure in these houses and

    receive the same services and support like other members of community.

    10. Elder people are more sensitive to cold and extreme heat, temperature

    fluctuations or extreme weather patterns than others.

    11. Individual needs of elders should be considered while providing them with

    shelters during emergencies, for example such shelters should be located in

    quiet places as far as it is possible.

    12. During rehabilitation works following disaster or emergency situations,

    elder people should be provided with psychological assistance. In addition to

    medical assistance and food, they often need communication more, especially

    with peer groups.

    Activities for local self-governing bodies, civil society membersand responsible people

    1. It is necessary to create DRR database including the number of elders living

    in the community, their location, senior centers, soup kitchens, hospitals, care

    homes keeping individual data confidentiality.

    2. Elder people are not prone to leave their houses. Even anticipating hazards

    cannot force them to leave their houses or community. In such cases patience

    should be displayed and their will should be respected.

    3. Inform about the resources and services provided by the community.

    4. Inform about expected emergencies that may occur in the given region, city

    or community.

    5. Conduct trainings for volunteers to take care of elders as their children,

    relatives may be far away during emergencies.

    6. Develop individual evacuation plan by assessing the capacities of elder

    people and considering their needs, clear what actions they can take

    independently and what additional assistance they need.

    7. Diseases of elder people that may cause also disability include cancer,

    Activities for local self-governing bodies, civil society membersand responsible people