Navigation Links
Frail elderly disaster
Date:5/18/2009

Planning for emergencies must take into account the growing numbers of frail elderly people who will by virtue of shifting demographics be involved in any natural or manmade disaster, according to US researchers writing in the International Journal of Emergency Management.

As the world's population grows and more individuals are living into their 70s, 80s, and 90s, those charged with managing people, resources, and medical care during and after an emergency, whether heat wave, flood, fire, earthquake, or other disaster, will face increasing challenges in addressing the needs of frail elderly people at such times.

Susan Smith and colleagues at the University of Tennessee Safety Center in Knoxville, working with Mary Jane Tremethick at Northern Michigan University, expose the factors affecting the frail elderly during and after an emergency and propose strategies to minimize the impact on this vulnerable group of people.

In 2008, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that it should be a primary goal of emergency management teams to support older people in an emergency, to minimize harm, and to help them maintain the highest possible level of health and functional capacity and to aid them in recovering from a disaster as quickly as possible.

Smith and her colleagues suggest that, in the light of the WHO's statement, rapid response to a crisis must extend beyond the traditional emergency response personnel. In short "age-responsive" actions must be identified and integrated into risk assessments and disaster response plans. They cite recent examples of heat waves in France, Greece, and the USA, and the US 2005 hurricane season, where such an approach may have reduced considerably the number of deaths among the elderly.

The first point that they address is how to define someone as frail elderly and so more at risk than a healthy younger person. "The term 'frail elderly' refers to adults over the age of 60 suffering from the effects of physical, mental, and sensory deterioration due to age and chronic diseases," the team explains. The frail elderly may therefore be severely affected in their ability to recognize and respond to a disaster. The definition must also encompass the fact that many frail elderly people economically poor or socially isolated and so at even greater risk during and after an emergency situation.

Fundamentally, factors such as declining health and increased chronic diseases, limitations in sight, hearing and mobility, limited access to healthcare resources, low economic status, and restricted social networks, all shift the risk a person faces in an emergency.

"The unique needs of the frail elderly were cited for disaster warnings, evacuation plans, and shelter locations," Smith and colleagues say, "Through collaboration with community organizations and members, emergency professionals, can exercise leadership to improve disaster response for the vulnerable population of the frail elderly," the teams says. They suggest that future research aimed at documenting the most successful organizational methods of providing a community, country and global response and recovery with respect to the frail elderly should be carried out.


'/>"/>

Contact: Susan Smith
smsmith@utk.edu
Inderscience Publishers
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Medicare Drug Law Hurts Frail Seniors
2. Physical Frailty Could Predict Alzheimers Disease
3. An anti-frailty pill for seniors?
4. Hormone-Boosting Drug May Help Treat Frailty
5. Gene Tied to Post-Op Delirium in Elderly
6. Chinas 1-child policy could backfire on its elderly
7. Divorce foretells childs future care for elderly parent
8. Brain atrophy in elderly leads to unintended racism, depression and problem gambling
9. Planning for 2020: increasing elderly population poses huge challenges in cancer care
10. NIH scientists describe ways to better assess benefits of influenza vaccine in the elderly
11. Survey reveals ignorance and confusion about cancer amongst the elderly
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... The Margarian Law Firm has ... contents of its ginger ale for allegedly containing no ginger. Dr. Pepper produces the ... Group, Inc., plaintiff Gegham Margaryan alleges Canada Dry Ginger Ale claims on its bottle ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... July 21, 2017 , ... ... students improve their chances of acceptance to a residency in a United States ... earned degrees outside the U.S. , According to data released by the ECFMG®, ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... ... 21, 2017 , ... West Dermatology is pleased to announce the newest addition ... 2017, Ms. Vu will join West Dermatology’s large network of medical and cosmetic dermatology ... cancer , and more. She graduated from the University of Florida College of Medicine ...
(Date:7/21/2017)... , ... July 21, 2017 , ... ... why concussion rates are on the rise, say researchers presenting their work at ... Toronto, Ontario, Canada. , “The combination of evaluating the patterns of change in ...
(Date:7/20/2017)... ... July 20, 2017 , ... ... bone marrow cancer that progresses rapidly without treatment. Newly diagnosed patients face intense ... chance of reoccurrence and relapse. With such a challenging diagnosis that requires ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:7/5/2017)... MINNEAPOLIS , July 5, 2017 Pace Analytical, a company of ... announcing today that they have acquired ESC Lab Sciences, further solidifying their position ... the United States . ... Steve Vanderboom- President and CEO of Pace Analytical ... of ESC Lab Sciences out of Mt Juliet, TN , ...
(Date:7/1/2017)... -- Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. (NYSE and SIX: ZBH) today ... be broadcast live over the Internet on Thursday, July 27, ... the quarterly results will be made available at 7:30 a.m. ... The live audio webcast can be accessed via Zimmer Biomet,s ... archived for replay following the conference call. ...
(Date:6/30/2017)... Medical (AVACEN) announced the publication of new research in the peer-reviewed ... AVACEN Treatment Method to significantly reduce the widespread pain ... ... ... 200 to 400 million people worldwide according to The National Fibromyalgia ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: