Photo: Ali Saltan, Gaziantep Refugee Health Training Center

Technical guidance to improve the health of older refugees and migrants

The technical guidance Health of older refugees and migrants was released in November 2018 by the WHO Regional Office for Europe. The report aims to inform policy and practice development specifically related to improving the health and wellbeing of older refugees and migrants in Europe. Ageing and migration are complex multidimensional processes, shaped by a range of factors at the micro, meso and macro levels over the life-course of the individual. Responding to the needs of older refugees and migrants, must therefore be integrated into all dimensions of ageing policies and practices across Europe. Author of this important report is Maria Kristiansen, Associate Professor at the Center for Healthy Aging and the Department of Public Health, University of Copenhagen.

Conversation tool for older migrants
The WHO technical guidance report includes several ‘promising practices’, including a project from Leyden Academy (page 21) regarding people-centered engagement of older migrants in health and long-term care. It features the Life and Vitality Assessment (LAVA), an instrument to map and discuss what older people find important in their lives. We are in the process of developing a version of the LAVA specifically for older migrants, based partly on the insights we obtained from a series of focus groups in 2018 among the largest non-Western migrant groups in the Netherlands.

For more information, please visit the WHO Regional Office for Europe website.