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Practical guidelines on psychosocial health and wellbeing: Elderly refugees [EN/GE/HU/PL]

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Introduction

The war in Ukraine is forcing millions of people, including elderly people to leave their country and seek refuge far from their homes. They are fleeing experiences that produce social and psychological wounds which, if not managed in a timely fashion, can go on to scar them for life and reduce their capacity to look after themselves and their loved ones.

The response to the crisis has been overwhelming and has been made possible by the decision of governments to open their frontiers to refugees with or without visas, and this is being facilitated everyday by the outpouring of help from thousands of volunteers, health and social workers and host families in these countries.

Because many of these helpers may have little experience dealing with situations of this kind, these PRACTICAL GUIDELINES have been produced to support them in their work. They build on a long body of experience dealing with the psychosocial impact of conflicts and natural disasters and the needs of the people caught up in them. This set of guidelines focuses on elderly people who, because of their age and associated health profiles, may be especially vulnerable to uprooting and forced displacement. They are also a population that is often forgotten and neglected in conflict and other humanitarian settings.
The guidelines are not meant to be prescriptive, but rather seek to provide ideas on how to respond to what are likely to be new circumstances, new questions and new demands.