Extreme events brought upon by climate change affects everyone, but not equally. The elderly are especially vulnerable to natural disaster.
In the state of Louisiana, of those who died during Hurricane Katrina, 71% were older than 60. Two weeks after Hurricane Sandy, the New York Times reported that almost half who died as a results of the storm were 65 years of age and older. Many die of hypothermia and drowning in their own homes.
Heat waves can pose an even greater danger to seniors. This is due in large part to the increased social isolation the elderly experience as they get older and more limited in their activities. An elderly individual with limited mobility or health issues may not be able to open a window, turn on the A/C or hydrate properly to deal with the heat. If you are a family with an elderly person in need, Smile Senior Care offers many options regarding home care aide and senior care.
Elderly vulnerability to climate change is also due to the growing senior population in the U.S. People are living longer, and by 2030 the projected growth of the elderly segment of the population will be close to 20%.
Families can protect the seniors by planning ahead. If you live in an area of the U.S. with severe weather changes, prepare accordingly. For example if you live in the Los Angeles valley where Summer temperatures can peak in the 100s, you want to make sure your senior’s A/C is in tip top condition.