Keywords: frail adults, rest homes, care homes, older adults, emergency management, disaster preparedness, social vulnerability, personal vulnerability, narrative, elderly, old people, disaster management, crisis management, flood disasters, floods, emergency preparedness, emergency planning, age-related needs
Exploring older adults' personal and social vulnerability in a disaster
Older adults are a demographic group that is more likely to experience negative impacts resulting from a disaster than other age groups. Age-related disabilities and the impact of social conditions can influence vulnerability to a disaster event. This paper explores the concept of personal and social vulnerability based on case studies of older adults who experienced a flood disaster. It describes and analyses the disaster-related experiences of those in a rest home population and those living independently in the community. The goal was to provide both an individual and a socio-cultural perspective based on older adults' narratives about the flood, which explored the challenges that emerged for this age group. The research findings highlight how emergency preparedness planning must take into account the age-related needs of older adults with regards to the personal and social resources they have available.