Rapid Assessment Method for Older People RAM-OP: the manual

Rapid Assessment Method for Older People RAM-OP: the manual

Older people (generally defined as people aged sixty years and older) are a vulnerable group for malnutrition in humanitarian and developmental contexts. Due to their age they have specific nutritional needs, such as easily digestible and palatable food adapted to those with chewing problems, which is dense in nutrients. In famine and displacement situations where populations are dependent on food distributions, older people often find the general ration inappropriate to their tastes and needs, have difficulties accessing the distributions, or have difficulties transporting rations home.

Despite these potential vulnerabilities in humanitarian situations, older people are rarely identified as a group in need of specific nutritional or food assistance. Surveys and assessments almost always focus on children, and sometimes on pregnant and lactating women. Humanitarian workers argue that assessing the nutritional status and needs of older people is both costly and complicated. As a consequence, the nutritional status and needs of older people in crisis go unidentified and unaddressed.

This training manual gives guidance on the Rapid Assessment Method for Older People (RAM-OP) that provides accurate and reliable estimates of the needs of older people. The method uses simple procedures, in a short time frame (i.e. about two weeks including training, data collection, data entry, and data analysis). It can be used in humanitarian situations as well as in development contexts. The modular structure of RAM-OP allows for adaptations, making it exhaustive or limited to essential indicators according to the immediate needs.

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