Independently Living Rural Seniors and Emergency Preparedness: A Pilot Study in Southern IllinoisReportar como inadecuado

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Health Educator, v44 n1 p21-27 Spr 2012

Rural-dwelling older adults often have difficulty obtaining needed medical and social services due to factors such as physician shortages, lack of transportation, and financial limitations. These factors are further exacerbated during an emergency. Understanding these challenges is important to implement successful health promotion interventions and protect human life. Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess independently dwelling rural senior citizens' knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors regarding emergency preparedness. Methods: A 39-item instrument was administered to 85 independently dwelling seniors throughout a rural county in Illinois. Results: The majority, 56%, indicated not having an emergency plan, and one-third reported not having bottled water or a first aid kit in the home. Discussion: Less than half of the respondents were knowledgeable regarding what types of items, such as food, water, and medications should be included in a 72-hour kit, and many participants did not have these items stored. Most participants felt that local health departments should provide warnings, food, shelter, transportation, help to the injured, and medications during an emergency. This finding is important, as rural health departments are not typically equipped to provide any of these. Rural health departments should clarify what services are provided by which agencies and collaborate with local social service organizations to help seniors be more prepared. (Contains 2 tables.)

Descriptors: First Aid, Health Promotion, Transportation, Emergency Programs, Housing, Rural Areas, Social Services, Older Adults, Health Education, Health Services, Surveys, Feedback (Response)

Eta Sigma Gamma Inc. 2000 University Avenue CL 325, Muncie, IN 47306. Tel: 800-715-2559; Tel: 765-285-2258; Fax: 765-285-3210; Web site:

Autor: Whitney, Emily; Visker, Joseph; Haithcox-Dennis, Melissa J.; DeWeese, Amanda


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