Disaster Services with Frail Older Persons: From Preparation to Recovery

  • Priscilla D. Allen
  • H. Wayne Nelson


Hurricanes claim the lives of the frail elderly more than any other age group due to this population’s reduced health status and heightened dependence, especially for those institutionalized. Social workers are obligated and ethically compelled (NASW, 1996, Code of ethics of the National Association of Social Workers. Washington, DC: NASW) to meet this high-risk group’s disaster readiness and recovery needs as posed to them by unexpected meteorological crises like Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike. This chapter critically assesses social works’ tested but largely unheralded traditional disaster roles, as well as new ones that are emerging in the wake of Katrina and in light of recent developments in the field of emergency preparedness. These mandate that the social work profession boost its capacity and capability to provide competent emergency services to ease the suffering of older individuals before, during, and after a crisis. Recommendations by the AMA, The American Red Cross, AARP, and various disaster and gerontological scholars are synthesized.


Nursing Home Nursing Home Resident Disaster Management Emergency Preparedness Social Work Profession 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LSU Life Course and Aging Center, School of Social WorkLouisiana State UniversityBaton RougeUSA
  2. 2.Department of Health ScienceTowson UniversityTowsonUSA

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