HelpAge is the only global organization with a singular focus on providing assistance to and advocating for disadvantaged older people.

International network to support older people

Five organizations in Canada, Columbia, Kenya, India and the United Kingdom set up HelpAge International in 1983 to provide a strong network to support older people worldwide. Today, this global network encompasses 94 HelpAge Affiliates operating in 70 countries, and more than 3,000 independent partner groups and older people’s organizations.

By 2050, the United Nations estimates there will be two billion people over age 60—one in five, compared to one in 10 today—with the proportion of older women growing most quickly. Of the nearly 190 million older people who live in poverty—more than 100 million live on less than $1 a day.

Advocacy & Development

Both an advocacy and development organization, HelpAge’s focus ranges from research and policy work supporting pensions, emergency assistance and livelihoods, to providing funds for grassroots activities. In 2002, HelpAge International helped to shape the UN Madrid International Plan of Action of Aging, committing governments to include aging in all social and economic development policies. In 2011, HelpAge assisted 2 million older people to claim their first pension payment, or receive an increased sum.


HelpAge has shown that older people are their own best advocates, and contrary to conventional thinking which characterizes older people as economically unproductive, dependent and passive, its research and experience has demonstrated the opposite. Older people make valuable contributions to society as caregivers, advisors, mentors, mediators and breadwinners. HelpAge encourages governments and communities to tap into the strengths of older people as the world prepares for this monumental demographic shift which will soon impact every country.