Life stories

Our collection of older people's life stories capture the strength and resilience behind a lifetime of experience. 

Through these stories, older people are speaking out and we're listening. Read what they have to say and discover their hopes, challenges and contributions.

Ageing in the 21st century

Ageing in the 21st Century: A Celebration and a Challenge

The world is growing old fast. In the next 10 years, the number of people over age 60 will surpass one billion.

Read about the lives of older people around the world.


Mahbud, 69 and his son Hisham, 52 now live in Zaatari camp in Jordan. Mahbud is partially paralysed and cannot chew the food provided in the camp. (c) Amandine Allaire/HelpAge International

Mahbud and Hisham crossed the Syrian border to escape the conflict and now live in Zaatari camp. Mahbud is 69; he cannot speak and is partially paralysed due to a stroke. We're helping older and disabled refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

Read more life stories about older people in emergencies.


Meher, 95, from Bangladesh had no idea she was entitled to a pension.

Meher suffers from chest pains. She had no idea she was eligible for a pension. Through HelpAge's partner in Bangladesh, she got her pension and can now pay for her medication.

Read more life stories about older people accessing their rights.

Work and pensions

Tubakwera, 58, from Uganda has seven grandchildren to support.

Tubakwerwa, cares for seven grandchildren. She received a loan from HelpAge's partner in Uganda to set up a market stall. The money she earns helps to feed her grandchildren.

Read more life stories about older people getting decent work and pensions.


Lipi, 62, received free healthcare from a HelpAge clinic (c) Mayur Paul/HelpAge International

Lipi was bedridden for months but couldn't afford to see a doctor. We helped her get the medicines and treatment she needed.

Read more life stories about older people's health.


Van Quang and Thi Tu care for their son who is HIV positive.

Van Quang and Thi Tu's son is HIV positive. Through HelpAge's partners in Vietnam, they have learnt to care for their son and found support through self-help clubs.

Read more life stories about older people coping with HIV and AIDS.