Safeguarding Vulnerable Seniors During Natural Disasters

The Safeguarding Vulnerable Seniors from Natural Disasters Forum was held at the Pavilion Function Centre, Albion on 18 August 2014 as part of Queensland Seniors Week.

Vulnerable seniors are those seniors who are particularly at risk of not surviving the disaster impact and/or experiencing poor physical, psychological, or social health after a disaster if they survive. Vulnerable seniors have need for extra support over that offered to the non-vulnerable before, during, and after a disaster incident, in functional areas, including but not limited to: maintaining independence, communication, housing, transportation, supervision and medical care.

At present in Queensland there are no clear state-wide strategies in place that provide vulnerable seniors with the necessary support required to prepare for a disaster, survive the event and then restore life to some level of normality afterwards. COTA Queensland organised this forum to bring key stakeholders together to discuss whether there is scope for improvement in supporting vulnerable seniors during natural disasters, and if so, to identify what approaches might best achieve this.

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