Vulnerable Older Adults and Legal Options
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Identify Vulnerable Older Adults and Legal Options for Increasing The Protection During All-Hazards Emergencies
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A Cross-Sector Guide for States and Communities
Contact Information Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Healthy Aging Program 4770 Buford Highway, N.E. Mailstop F-15 Atlanta, GA 30341
Telephone: 1-800-CDC-INFO (232-4636); TTY: 1-888-232-6348 E-mail: cdcinfo@cdc.gov Web: www.cdc.gov/aging/emergency
Suggested Citation Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Identifying Vulnerable Older Adults and Legal Options for Increasing Their Protection During All-Hazards Emergencies: A Cross-Sector Guide for States and Communities. Atlanta: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; 2012.
Disclaimers The information contained in this document does not constitute legal advice. Use of any provision herein should be contemplated only in conjunction with advice from legal counsel. Provisions may need to be modified, supplemented, or replaced to ensure appropriate citation to or compliance with relevant local and state laws, to accurately reflect the intent of parties to a particular agreement, or to otherwise address the needs or requirement of a specific jurisdiction.
Web site addresses of non federal organizations are provided solely as a service to readers. Provision of an address does not constitute an endorsement of this organization by CDC or the federal government, and none should be inferred. CDC is not responsible for the content of other organizations Web pages.
Identifying Vulnerable Older Adults and Legal Options for Increasing Their
Protection During All-Hazards Emergencies
A Cross-Sector Guide for States and Communities
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
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Executive Summary
Introduction We cannot accurately predict which groups of people will be most affected by future emergencies. However, recent events have shown that some characteristics of older adults put them at greater risk of illness and death during many types of emergencies. For example, older adults may have impaired mobility, diminished sensory awareness, multiple chronic health conditions, and social and economic limitations all of which can impair their ability to prepare for, respond to, and adapt during emergencies.1 An emergency or disaster also can disrupt vital support systems that older adults rely on. For many older adults, independent living is made possible only with help from friends, family, and in-home services that provide meals, home-based health care, and help with the activities of daily living.
Events such as Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011 showed how vulnerable older adults can be during emergencies. Unfortunately, research conducted for this guide found three major limitations to our ability to plan for and protect older adults:
Many different strategies are being used to identify vulnerable older adults across the country, but none of these strategies have been evaluated.
No consensus exists on the best way to identify and protect older adults. Gaps exist in legal mandates to protect older adults.
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