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Frail Elderly as Disaster Victims: Emergency Management Strategies

  • Lauren S. Fernandez (a1) (a2), Deana Byard (a1), Chien-Chih Lin (a1), Samuel Benson (a3) and Joseph A. Barbera (a4)
  • DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S1049023X00000200
  • Published online: 28 June 2012
Abstract
Abstract<span class='bold'>Purpose:</span>

To identify the vulnerabilities of elderly to disasters, and to develop strategies to address these vulnerabilities.

<span class='bold'>Methods:</span>

A relevant literature search of journal articles, government training materials, news reports, and materials from senior organizations was conducted.

<span class='bold'>Results:</span>

The vulnerability of the elderly to disasters is related to their impaired physical mobility, diminished sensory awareness, chronic health conditions, and social and economic limitations that prevent adequate preparation for disasters, and hinder their adaptability during disasters. Frail elderly, those with serious physical, cognitive, economic, and psycho-social problems, are at especially high risk.

<span class='bold'>Conclusions:</span>

This segment of the population is growing rapidly. Therefore, it is important that emergency management recognize the frail elderly as a special needs population, and develop targeted strategies that meet their needs. Several management strategies are presented and recommendations for further action are proposed.

Copyright
Corresponding author
230 N Wakefield St., Arlington, VA 22203 USA e-mail: LSchiff@gwu.edu
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Prehospital and Disaster Medicine
  • ISSN: 1049-023X
  • EISSN: 1945-1938
  • URL: /core/journals/prehospital-and-disaster-medicine
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