Paper: Similar but not the same: Reflections on the diverse needs of older people and persons with disabilities during crises

Paper details

Paper authors Lisette R. Robles
In panel on Disability Inclusion in Humanitarian Crises: Discourse, Implementation and Evidence
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


The discussion of older people during emergencies inevitably includes the issue of disability. While the former would generally refer to a natural life process, the latter describes the functional limitations not confined to a particular age group. Recognizing the compounded insecurities brought by age and disability would often result in the misconception that advanced age equates to disability. Thus, while some similar needs are addressed, older people's and disability-specific needs and their respective strengths are undermined. During crises and emergencies, the qualitative differences for older people, persons with disabilities, persons with trauma, and the whole range of persons with special needs should be considered. By examining relevant literature, this paper reflects on the intersecting challenges experienced by older people and people with a disability during humanitarian crises. It will explore their distinct vulnerabilities, the need for targeted assistance, and their rights to inclusive humanitarian intervention.



Lisette Robles