The Vice-President of the Irish College of Paramedics, Alan Batt, will speak at the upcoming International First Aid Education Conference in Niagara Falls, Canada in April 2018. Alan will deliver a session focused on Disaster Preparedness and Response in Older Adults.

Older adults are disproportionately affected by disasters when they occur, from health, psychosocial and social perspectives. The needs of older adults are different, are at times complex, and are often overlooked during disaster planning and response. A review of the literature revealed that the largest group facing increased risk from disasters at present are older adults. Disaster planning organisations should seek to include the voice of older persons at all stages of planning. Older adults are in general poorly prepared for disaster events, due to many reasons, including access to resources, social isolation, physical mobility issues and chronic health conditions.

Standard disaster preparedness advice appears to do older adults a disservice. The session will review the findings of the literature review, provide improved practical advice on disaster preparedness and response for older adults and those responsible for planning and response, and will allow those present to share their views, engage in discussion, and give their advice to others in attendance.