This installment of the SAMHSA Disaster Behavioral Health Information Series (DBHIS) focuses on disaster behavioral health preparedness and response for older adults. Older adults may be a particularly vulnerable population, especially during disasters and emergency situations. Chronic conditions that exist prior to a disaster can be exacerbated, and regular treatment or services can be interrupted. In addition to not being able to access services, older adults may have other physical limitations such as impaired mobility and loss of hearing that can put them at risk. The elderly population is also more likely to experience social and economic limitations.
Health care providers, caretakers, and family members play a vital role in helping older adults plan and prepare for disasters. Building a disaster plan before a disaster strikes may not only save lives and prevent injury, but it can vastly reduce stressors and their mental health effects after a disaster.
The resources included in this DBHIS installment are targeted to older adults and their caregivers, family members, health care providers, and treatment facilities. Following are some of the topics the installment covers:
- Preparedness, planning, and recovery information for older adults
- Guidelines for family members, caregivers, and mental health and health care providers for helping older adults cope with disaster
- Suggestions for disaster responders and community leaders for making sure that older adults are supported and their needs addressed
- Issues specific to older adults with disabilities and other access and functional needs
Use the menu bar at left to narrow the results by issue, condition, and disorder (these include disaster types); professional and research topics; or other areas of interest.