The rising tide : the increase in elderly population, disasters and type 2 diabetes
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The recent statistical data reveal that there are considerable changes in the growing elderly population, the rise in natural disasters, and the increased prevalence of Type 2 diabetes (T2DM). These trends are occurring globally that draw attention to the importance of recognizing this population’s specific needs in the event of a disaster. Although Canada has suffered relatively few natural disasters, the occurrence of natural disaster worldwide is on the rise. Using a qualitative general research methodology, interviews were conducted with individuals over the age of 60 living with T2DM. The aim was to explore the participant’s knowledge of chronic disease management and assess their ability to manage their disease during a disaster. A literature review identified gaps in knowledge in the management of chronic diseases during a disaster. The theory of vulnerability is used to explain that elderly people living with T2DM are at an increased risk of harm if a disaster was to occur. This study found that identifying and understanding the specific needs of this population is important in the development of disaster planning for emergency managers and first responders. Keywords: elderly, disasters, chronic disease, Type 2 diabetes, vulnerability
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