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Critical healthcare for older adults post Hurricane Ian in Florida, United States

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Abstract

We highlight critical public healthcare inadequacies for older adult populations resulting in fatalities after Hurricane Ian. We summarize whether a fatality was a result of the storm directly, indirectly, or not at all. Massive destruction from Ian eliminated critical life-sustaining health care for the week following the hurricane. This disproportionately affected the older adult population, with most elder deaths attributed to a lack of some form of health care. To prevent further unnecessary deaths following a disaster event, we recommend that public health policy practitioners, medical practitioners, and state officials consider how to provide managed opt-in emergency care services, mobile elderly care until restoration of power and services, and revisions to community-based critical care provider building codes to include generators and fuel. We offer this viewpoint to generate discussion among public health and emergency planners.

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Fig. 1

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Data used in this Viewpoint are publically accessible and maintained by the Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics.

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Bushong, L.C., Welch, P. Critical healthcare for older adults post Hurricane Ian in Florida, United States. J Public Health Pol 44, 674–684 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41271-023-00444-3

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