The number of people over 60 in the world is expected to triple by 2050. The problems of old age include isolation and loneliness, reduced mobility and distressing health complications. This means many elderly are cut off from simple daily interactions such as getting to the shops on their own, and without nearby friends and family, many go days without human contact. The Order helps the elderly through many works around the world; always prioritising one-on-one compassion and care so that medical, functional and spiritual support are provided.
"In the twilight of their lives, the elderly should not only be remembered, but treated with kindness and respect; instead, society often treats them as little more than a financial and social burden."
Antonio Sanchez-Corea, Director of the Global Fund for Forgotten People and member of the Sovereign Council for the Order of Malta
Kitchen for Life, Ukraine
Hot food, care and company to those who cannot provide for themselves
Ukraine is a country undergoing transition and currently 78% of people live below the poverty line, and many of these are elderly people. In the area of L'viv charitable kitchens for senior citizens are rare and necessity exceeds need by more than a hundred times. Many of the elderly people in L'viv suffer from chronic diseases and are unable to provide basic nutrition for themselves. The Order's Kitchen for Life programme in Ukraine provides hot food, care and company to180 poverty-stricken elderly people who are in need.
The Global Fund has made a grant towards the delivery of 1300 hot meals to 180 beneficiaries.
Day centre for the Elderly, Peru
Social and craft activities for neglected elderly people
In the remote village of Quericotillo, Peru there are no medical centres or meeting groups for the many elderly people that live there. Many elderly people sit alone in their houses feeling isolated, ignored and useless. The Order's centre has been supporting 60 elderly people in the area since 2004. The centre offers a place for them to learn sports, paint, take part in arts and crafts activities and learn about how to manage their health through educational workshops on self-care, nutrition and occupational therapy. Elderly people can meet, socialise and create small crafts that can be sold to provide a small income. The Order works with the local government, local businesses and the beneficiaries' families to deliver the programme.
The Global Fund has awarded a small grant towards this project.