About half of people displaced by the civil conflict in Ukraine are of older age. Older people have difficulty accessing humanitarian assistance because relief centers are often too far for someone with limited mobility to travel. Long wait times, especially in extreme heat or cold, are also a barrier because many older people are not physically able to stand in the lines. HelpAge provides livelihood assistance and home-based care to older people in Ukraine's conflict zones.
Valentyna Skrypnyk is 79 years old and lives in the township of Petropavlovka, close to the conflict zone in Eastern Ukraine. Valentyna has had a difficult life. Her son died, and her daughter went missing in 2014. Two years later Valentyna’s husband, her only other family member, also passed. All alone in the face of chaos and insecurity, Valentyna became deeply depressed.
HelpAge paired Valentyna with a trained community volunteer who visits her regularly. The home-based caregiver serves as a vital link to social support as well as basic relief items such as food and hygiene supplies. Through the volunteer’s support, Valentyna has been able to improve her mobility through basic physical exercises and the use of a walking aid. We're also engaging Valentyna in activities organized through our Community Hub to build her network of social support.
Ukraine is among the 30 oldest countries in the world with 23% of the current population over the age of 60. By 2050 this is expected to increase to 35 percent. HelpAge is advocating for policies and services that address the needs that come with unprecedented demographic change.