Protecting older people from COVID-19.

While all countries are facing serious problems in the prevention and management of COVID-19, lower and middle-income countries are even more vulnerable — and older people are at the greatest risk for serious illness and death. Through advocacy, awareness, research, and one-on-one assistance, the HelpAge Global Network is helping them mitigate the effects of the pandemic.

How we protect older people

Community support

Working with network members, we conduct assessments to determine what support is needed by older people. We then provide lifesaving supplies, including hygiene kits, food, home-based care and medicines. Community-based organizations facilitate connection with older people, ensuring they have social engagement and can share their fears and concerns.

Promoting awareness

We work with Ministries of Health to improve the healthcare of older people and ensure care is available to those who are homebound. HelpAge supports safe payment of social pensions, cash transfers and social protection reforms that protect older people from the social and economic fallout of COVID-19. 

Advocacy and campaigning

We advocate for equitable vaccine information and access, and for the dignity and wellbeing of older people to be front and center in the responses to COVID-19. Together with network members and older activists, we campaign to challenge stereotyping and discrimination based on age. And through research, COVID-19 guidelines, and technical training, HelpAge influences stakeholders and policy debates.

We work with network partners
to address risks & mitigate collateral impacts.

DC Grandparents Against COVID-19

DC Grandparents Against COVID-19, a program of HelpAge USA, was launched in 2022 as a movement of DC residents 60+ years of age united in encouraging loved ones of all ages to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19.

Our groundbreaking research offers
new insights on COVID-19 and older people.

Global Vaccines in Pandemic Times: Older Low-Income Adults and Vaccine Equity

In October 2021, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation invited our CEO, Cindy Cox-Roman to present findings from our work entitled “Global Vaccines in Pandemic Times: Older Low-Income Adults and Vaccine Equity.” These findings provide a global perspective on the inequities facing older people in accessing the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Bearing the Brunt”: A Report on the Impact of COVID-19 on Older People in Low and Middle-Income Countries

Throughout the pandemic, older people have been separated and isolated, portrayed as weak and helpless, and have had their rights ignored. This has taken a toll on their health and wellbeing, and older people now risk facing more violence, abuse, and neglect than before the pandemic. Despite the impact of the pandemic on older people, data issues and gaps continue to exclude older people, and block effective responses and future planning.

   Download the full report in English.
   Download the executive summary in EnglishArabicRussian and Spanish.

“COVID-19 and the Vaccine: Lifting Up the Voices of Older Black Americans”

HelpAge USA conducted qualitative research among older low-income Black adults regarding their experience during COVID-19 and decision-making about the vaccine. The research provides insights into the factors that shape their widely divergent views on the vaccine and guidance about how to improve vaccine equity for these older adults. 

Confronting the Shadow Pandemic: COVID-19 and Violence, Abuse and Neglect of Older People

This briefing focuses on the experience of older people in Malawi, Moldova and Pakistan. Older women and men who are at risk of – or have experienced – violence, abuse, and neglect describe the impact the pandemic is having on their lives.

   Download the full report in English, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian
© Fabeha Monir, Age International
© HelpAge International, Moldova
"I learned more about the COVID-19 pandemic from Elena, a HelpAge volunteer. She told me in detail about the first symptoms of the disease, preventive measures, and personal hygiene. Now I strictly adhere to these rules.”

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