Briefs, Fact Sheets and Brochures, Manuals, Toolkits and Guidance

Building Blocks Africa-wide Briefing Notes: Supporting older carers

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HelpAge International,The International HIV/AIDS Alliance

This briefing note is part of a set of seven, comprising an overview and the following six topics: Education, social inclusion, health and nutrition, economic strengthening, psychosocial support, and supporting older carers. All these areas are important and should be considered together in an integrated response. 

This briefing note is divided into four main sections:

  • INTRODUCTION: An overview that explains why programmes designed to support orphans and vulnerable children need to pay more attention to the needs of the older people who care for them.
  • ISSUES: An outline of the impact of HIV/AIDS on older people and the factors affecting the well-being of older people caring for children.
  • PRINCIPLES: Guidelines for programmes addressing the needs of older people caring for children.
  • STRATEGIES: Possible ways of taking action at community level to support older people caring for children.

This document was produced to encourage those working with orphans and vulnerable children to take the situation of their older carers into account and to find ways of supporting their efforts and improving their quality of life. The more successful strategies have been noted, but not all of these have been studied yet. Therefore, the strategies in this briefing note include some that have already been implemented, as well as suggestions for other strategies based on the experience of people working with older people caring for children. As such, strategies are not given in any order of priority or relative effectiveness. It is important to consider local context when judging the value of any strategy. 

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