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Climate change and older adults

by John Muscedere

Lessons from Canada

You don’t have to look far to see the effects of climate change these days. But those effects are all the more acute for vulnerable seniors, especially those living in nursing homes. The reality is that nursing home administrators must now include disaster planning as a key part of their risk management planning.

There have been numerous incidents lately in the U.S. that highlight the need for this. During the most recent heat wave in the north-east, a New Jersey nursing home’s air conditioning broke down, necessitating an evacuation. Although a repair was made and all were safe, these types of emergency evacuations can stress both staff and residents. It’s not only physical health that can be at risk, it’s mental health as well.

Climate change also means that hurricanes are becoming more intense and occurring more often. Two hurricanes that arrived late in the summer of 2017, Harvey and Irma, shone a light on how prepared nursing homes actually were — or were not. Irma was the catalyst for the death of 14 nursing home residents in Florida after electricity was knocked out by a fallen tree and residents did not have access to air conditioning for several days.


Read the rest of the article on McKnights.com: https://www.mcknights.com/blogs/climate-change-and-older-adults-lessons-from-canada/

Note: This content is not Creative Commons.


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