The current war between Ukraine and Russia continues to cause large numbers of Ukrainians to flee – with a current total of over 1.5 million. Many of the elderly citizens however are either reluctant or unable to leave the country for a variety of reasons. Elderly populations across the nation have been denied access to essential services such as doctors, medication, and food.
In 2021, it was reported that over 10 million people in Ukraine fit into the over 60 years category, resulting in the older generation making up a quarter of the total population. Many of those within this category are physically unable to flee, leaving them hungry, scared, and isolated. Others simply refuse to leave their homeland. Furthermore, with infrastructure damage throughout the country and phone lines inoperable, people are unable to connect one another, especially those who are older and require assistance or support.
Over the past 10 years, groups and organizations have been created to help support the elderly populations throughout various conflicts in Ukraine. There are a number of ways to help from afar, from monetary donations to raising awareness of what is happening in Ukraine, especially to this particularly vulnerable group. Explore the various groups and charities below to get involved.
Helping the elderly population who are housebound, have mobility issues, or are reluctant to leave their homes, Age International tailors food packs and kits to the specific needs of older people and delivers with staff and volunteers (when safe to do so). They continue to monitor the most urgent needs of older people so they can expand their emergency relief program to assist not only those still in Ukraine, but also in neighboring countries.
The organization works with local partners throughout Ukraine and surrounding countries to provide food, water, medical kits, hygiene products, dignity kits, multi-purpose cash payments, and a mental health support hotline in response to the trauma many continue to face. Monetary donations are the best way to support Age International because supplies will be purchased locally through one of the partners and works as a boost for Ukraine’s economy. Learn more and donate to Age International here.
This charitable organization is devoted to helping and assisting elderly people by delivering food and medications to those in need, as well as helping them receive their social payments. Through a team of volunteers and state social workers, Starenki sends basic food and hygiene packages to the country’s most vulnerable – and will continue to do so. If the situation continues or gets worse, they are considering helping the broader public in the cities where they are located.
Starenki operates in seven cities throughout Ukraine and plans to expand its operation to 10 more. Monetary donations are once again the best way to support their efforts. Learn more and donate to Starenki here.
UNHCR The UN Refugee Agency
The UNHCR helps provide protection and humanitarian assistance to refugees and refugee hosts from across Ukraine. With teams in Ukraine and neighboring countries, the organization distributes vital items including emergency shelter, blankets, coats, and bedding, as well as emergency cash assistance and psychological support. Furthermore, the UNHCR helps repair shell-damaged homes by providing new panes of glass, repairing roofs, and completely rebuilding homes for the elderly who are unable or reluctant to flee.
Monetary donations to this organization will help provide refugees or displaced people with ongoing relief and protection. Learn more and donate to the UNHCR here.
Age Concern Ukraine
Groups of people from across Ukraine are also coming together to help the elderly throughout the nation, including the elderly who understand the vulnerability of their own age group. Age Concern Ukraine is a group of 60-plus year old volunteers who work across nine branches across the country and who are determined to help the elderly receive food, aid, medical supplies, and support.
Since younger people are much more capable of fleeing their homes, the elderly populations are oftentimes forgotten or left behind. By donating to the above organizations, you can assist the elderly in Ukraine in receiving assistance and relief that is tailored for their specific needs, so they are not left behind, alone, and afraid.