Menu ENN Search

Needs of older people in tsunami response

Ramasamy, age 75, at Akkrapattai Relief Camp, Nagapattinam, India

According to a recent HelpAge report, the tsunami relief effort, following the Indian ocean earthquake on December 26th 2005, did not take into account the special needs of older people in the initial phase. The report claims that the elderly became almost invisible when relief material was distributed. Many elderly people reported being pushed out of the way by younger people in the chaotic distribution of relief. In Indonesia and Thailand, the elderly had difficulty getting cash allowances from the government in the absence of support mechanisms. In Sri Lanka, some elderly people reported receiving no monetary compensation to restart livelihoods. Many elderly tsunami survivors with chronic illnesses, such as diabetes and cancer, faced hardship in resuming treatment as they had lost their medical papers or could not travel. Special diets for the elderly with diabetes or high blood pressure were not available in the relief packages and relief workers did not know about the dietary problems of elderly people.

HelpAge researchers also said that psychosocial services for the elderly were totally inadequate and that their recovery was hindered by lack of special attention.

According to Mathew Cherian, chef executive of HelpAge India, "neither the government machinery nor the international aid fraternity recognised the vulnerability of the elderly".

The report, The impact of the Indian ocean tsunami on older people: Issues and recommendations (Helpage, 2005), is available online or to order at http://www.helpage.org

More like this

FEX: Real-time evaluation of WFPs tsunami response

Summary of published report1 Sorting WFP food in Indonesia The World Food Programme (WFP) recently published the findings of a real-time evaluation (RTE) of their response to...

FEX: Management of hypertension and diabetes for the Syrian refugees and host community in selected health facilities in Lebanon

By Maguy Ghanem Kallab Maguy Ghanem Kallab is the health coordinator of HelpAge International in Lebanon. She holds a Master's degree in Public Health and is currently...

FEX: Extending support through CMAM to older people in Ethiopia

By Kidist Negash Weldeyohannis View this article as a pdf Lisez cet article en français ici Kidist Negash Weldeyohannis is a Regional Health and Nutrition Programme...

FEX: Evaluation of international response to the tsunami

Summary of report1 Devastation in Sri Lanka post tsunami The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami killed over 227,000 people with 1.7 million displaced. A massive...

FEX: Postscript to 'Infant feeding in tsunami affected villages in India'

Dr Bethou is a paediatrician currently based at the Mahatma Gandhi Medical College and Research Institute, Pondicherry, India and was one of the researchers in the study just...

Resource: Infant feeding in Emergency Situations. A report from the national convention of BPNI, 2005

India, on 9-10 Nov 2005 held by BPNI supported by govt of India & UNICEF. Pub'd 2006 BPNI = Breastfeeding Promotion Network of India. A really good report that contains...

FEX: HelpAge International

Name HelpAge International Year formed 1983 Address Head Office, PO Box 32832 London N1 9ZN, UK Chief Executive Todd Petersen Telephone +44 (0)20 7278 7778 Director Mark...

FEX: Cash grants and cash for work in Sri Lanka (Special Supplement 3)

Sophia Dunn, Oxfam GB Coir mill Following the devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean on 26th December 2005, Oxfam GB scaled up its activities in Sri Lanka and opened an...

FEX: Muslim Aid

Name Muslim Aid Director(s) Saif Ahmad CEO Address PO Box 3, London E1 1WP Year formed 1985 Telephone +44(0)20 7377 4200 Main office UK Fax +44(0)20 7377 4201 Overseas...

Resource: Postpartum stress: current concepts and the possible protective role of breastfeeding

Groer MW, Davis MW, Hemphill J. Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Neonatal Nursing 2002; 31: 411-417. Breastfeeding may assist mothers to cope better with their difficult...

Resource: Oxytocin and prolactin levels in breast-feeding women

Uvnas-Moberg K, Widstrom AM, Werner S, Matthiesen AS, Winberg J. Acta Obstetrica et Gynecologica Scandinavica 1990; 69, 301-306. Breastfeeding involves close physical contact...

FEX: Letter on older people, nutrition and emergencies, by Yvonne Grellety and Michael Golden (with response by Vanessa Tilstone)

Dear Editor, We refer to the Article by Vanessa Tilstone "Older people, Nutrition and emergencies in Ethiopia" (issue number 14, November 2001). We agree that the welfare of...

FEX: Income and employment support (Special Supplement 3)

5.1 Introduction The provision of cash as an emergency response has the potential to impact on all elements of the livelihoods framework by providing the means to protect or...

FEX: Issue 27 Editorial

Every emergency has a habit of throwing up fresh challenges which force us to re-examine our understanding of vulnerability and how best to respond. However, as shown in this...

FEX: Infant feeding in tsunami affected villages in India

Summary of published research1 A recently published descriptive study highlights the problems related to feeding of infants and young children in crisis situations. The...

FEX: Methods for Assessing Malnutrition in Older People

A Summary of Initial Findings In the first edition of Field Exchange we reported on an ongoing research project by Helpage and the LSHTM which was developing methods for...

FEX: Challenges in addressing undernutrition in India

By Ajay Kumar Sinha, Dolon Bhattacharyya and Raj Bhandari Ajay Kumar Sinha (left) is the Founder Secretary and Executive Director of FLAIR. He is an expert on public policy...

FEX: Older people, nutrition and emergencies in Ethiopia

By Vanessa Tilstone Vanessa Tilstone has worked for HelpAge International in Ethiopia for the last 3 years as the Country Programme Director and has worked previously in...

FEX: Effect of Asian population-specific BMI cut-off values on malnutrition double burden estimates

Summary of research1 Location: India What we know: India is a rapid developing economy with huge socio-economic and demographic heterogeneity and co-existence of under- and...

FEX: Nutritional Risk Factors in Older Refugees

Summary of published paper1 This woman is a widow and has nine people in her household to help provide for A study has recently been published on nutritional risk factors for...

Close

Reference this page

Needs of older people in tsunami response. Field Exchange 27, March 2006. p19. www.ennonline.net/fex/27/olderpeople