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      Aging disaster: mortality, vulnerability, and long-term recovery among Katrina survivors.

      Medical Anthropology
      Adaptation, Psychological, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, psychology, Anecdotes as Topic, Cyclonic Storms, Disasters, Female, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, New Orleans, Survivors

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          Abstract

          Data from this multiyear qualitative study of the effects of Hurricane Katrina and flooding in New Orleans suggest differences in how the elderly cope with disaster. At the time of the disaster, the elderly of New Orleans were at greater risk than other groups, and more elderly died than any other group during the storm and in the first year after. Those who did survive beyond the first year report coping with the long-term disaster aftermath better than the generation below them, experiencing heightened stresses, and feeling as if they are "aging" faster than they should. We offer insight on how we might define and characterize disasters, and illustrate that long-term catastrophes "age" in specific ways.

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          Most cited references23

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          ANTHROPOLOGICAL RESEARCH ON HAZARDS AND DISASTERS

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            Resilience and successful aging. Comparison among low and high income older adults.

            1 Resilience, a personality characteristic that moderates the negative effects of stress and promotes adaptation, has been associated with better health in prior studies. 2 Successful aging can be defined as the enjoyment of health and vigor of the mind, body, and spirit into middle age and beyond. 3 Individuals with lower incomes may be less likely to achieve successful aging because of a higher prevalence of health risk factors. 4 Resilience appears to be positively and significantly associated with indicators of successful aging regardless of income.
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              Experiences of hurricane Katrina evacuees in Houston shelters: implications for future planning.

              To shed light on how the public health community can promote the recovery of Hurricane Katrina victims and protect people in future disasters, we examined the experiences of evacuees housed in Houston area shelters 2 weeks after the hurricane. A survey was conducted September 10 through 12, 2005, with 680 randomly selected respondents who were evacuated to Houston from the Gulf Coast as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Interviews were conducted in Red Cross shelters in the greater Houston area. Many evacuees suffered physical and emotional stress during the storm and its aftermath, including going without adequate food and water. In comparison with New Orleans and Louisiana residents overall, disproportionate numbers of this group were African American, had low incomes, and had no health insurance coverage. Many had chronic health conditions and relied heavily on the New Orleans public hospital system, which was destroyed in the storm. Our results highlight the need for better plans for emergency communication and evacuation of low-income and disabled citizens in future disasters and shed light on choices facing policymakers in planning for the long-term health care needs of vulnerable populations.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                21590581
                3098037
                10.1080/01459740.2011.560777

                Chemistry
                Adaptation, Psychological,Aged,Aged, 80 and over,Aging,psychology,Anecdotes as Topic,Cyclonic Storms,Disasters,Female,Humans,Male,Middle Aged,New Orleans,Survivors

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