Age Demands Action: Older people's activism produces positive change
Following on from our biggest Age Demands Action yet on 1 October, policy pledges are already translating into positive change for older people across the world.
Progress on pensions and social assistance
In Ethiopia, the pension payment scheme has been decentralised to neighbourhood level as a result of the Ethiopian Elderly and National Association's meeting with the Social Security Agency, making pension collection easily accessible for older people.
Developments are also now taking place to implement a non-contributory pension for people 70 and over. The draft strategy for this pension has now been submitted to the House of Parliament.
And in Ghana, a social pension pilot for older people who are not on any pension scheme has been announced for 2013.
HelpAge Sri Lanka have achieved huge success in getting the eligibility age for older people receiving the enhanced Rs.1000 Public Assistance Monthly Allowance lowered from 80 to 70. This change has already been implemented for the poorest aged 70 and over as of October and is now benefitting 200,000 extra older people.
Protecting older people's rights
As a result of HelpAge International Mozambique's ADA action over the last two years, a specific law on older people's rights is currently under consideration by the Prime Minister and Minister of Women and Social Welfare.
Following ADA 1 October activities in Lithuania, the Law on Plenary Guardianship of Disabled Older People has been changed to ensure older people are not stripped of their legal capacities.
And in Vietnam, the Deputy Minister of Labour and Social Affairs has appointed the Vietnam Association of Elders to draft the proposal for the Government to replicate the community older people's association model in the Vietnam National Action Programme on Ageing.
Local change makes a difference
Following our Affiliate in South Africa, MUSA's ADA activities on 1 October, a Senior Citizens' Desk in Ward 38 district has been launched to address older people's concerns.
In Kyrgyzstan, pledges have been made by local authorities in Naryn district to assist older people with fuel for heating. They have also pledged to provide age-friendly social spaces at the community level, such as tea houses in Talas district.
Three local partners in Russia have successfully improved medical access for older people. Two further partners secured improved public transport services and ADA activists in Ukraine have also succeeded in restoring a bus route essential to older people in Zhitomir district.
Accessible healthcare to the most vulnerable
To mark the UN International Day of Older Persons on 1 October, the Ministry of Health in Moldova approved a list of essential medicines to be made affordable for all older people a community level.
In the Gaza strip, the health insurance law for older people has also been modified to ensure free health insurance for those unable to pay for it.
Furthermore in Belize, following a meeting with the Minister of Health, the Age-Friendly Health Clinic Model established by HelpAge International Belize is now to be implemented on a widespread basis within the next two months.
Change for the better
The changes resulting from Age Demands Action on 1 October over the last two months are already starting to have a significant impact on the lives of older people around the world. More have access to healthcare, social pensions and legal avenues through which to claim their rights than ever before!