Protection of the elderly in disaster situations in Indonesia

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IOP Publishing


The territory of Indonesia is an area that is prone to disasters, both natural, nonnatural and social disasters. Thus, the elderly in Indonesia live in a situation of threat of disaster. This study uses a secondary data research method with locus is focused on areas of Indonesia where disasters have occurred in the last five years from 2016 to 2020, namely; earthquake in Pidie Jaya, earthquake and tsunami in Lombok, earthquake and tsunami in Palu, social disaster in Mempawah-West Kalimantan, flash floods in Garut, and the Covid-19 disaster. The data collected was then analyzed using document analysis techniques. Our analysis result concluded that the absence of caregiver who specifically provide programmed assistance, makes the elderly feel lonely, stressed and traumatized. Social workers contribute to the handling of the elderly in disaster locations focused on psychosocial support, and advocacy of legislative policies.


Efforts to protect the elderly as a vulnerable group in disaster situations are still not optimal. The implementation of Article 55 paragraph 2 of Law Number 24 of 2007 concerning Disaster Management which provides protection for vulnerable groups, does not seem to have been done by the government, both central and regional, even volunteers. The elderly as a vulnerable group have not become a priority in disaster management. This paper recommends incorporating specific materials about the elderly in disaster situation into the draft amendments to the law on the elderly that is being drafted. Disaster material in the draft law or in the future the new law on the elderly, will strengthen the mainstreaming of the elderly in disaster management. Mainstreaming the elderly in disasters should also target sustainable social protection programs for disaster victims so that they do not fall into poverty due to disasters. Other things that must also be included in the bill are gender issues, attention to elderly women as well as issues of empowerment and protection of the elderly which were previously not explored in the current law, namely Law Number 13 of 1998 concerning Elderly Welfare.