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Older Persons in Emergencies: An Active Ageing Perspective

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To guide decision-makers, the report presents an integrated approach for emergency preparedness and response that is grounded in the WHO Active Ageing Policy Framework . This approach adopts a life course perspective that takes into account the diversity of needs and capacities of persons as they grow older. Focusing on the multisectoral determinants of active ageing that are in play in crisis situations, it shows how to promote the health, participation and security of older persons before, during and after an emergency. This approach can be the basis for differentiating and integrating older persons within comprehensive emergency planning. At the same time, it serves to encompass emergency management within broader health and social policy addressing individual and population ageing. The report marshals the evidence and builds the case as follows:

  • Part 1 describes the converging trends of rapid growth of the population over 60 years of age and of health emergencies, and outlines the resulting challenges.
  • Part 2 outlines the basic elements of emergency planning and summarizes the findings from each of the case studies, identifying the impacts of the emergency situations on older persons and the strengths and gaps in emergency preparedness, response and recovery.
  • Part 3 integrates the evidence within the WHO Active Ageing policy framework to show how emergency management can be strengthened by a comprehensive and systematic application of this framework.
  • Part 4 presents the policy response, with concrete proposals to strengthen the active ageing pillars of health, participation and security in emergency management.

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