Building Senior Resilience

Most of us in Hawai‘i understand that the island chain we call home is particularly vulnerable to hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis. And we’ve definitely all heard how wise we’d be to plan ahead and prepare for these types of emergencies and natural disasters. The good news for you and your family is that now you’ve got a capable partner who is willing and eager to help you when you’re ready to take on this necessary and difficult challenge.

01 Building Senior Resilience - Generations Magazine - February-March 2013The National Disaster Preparedness Training Center (NDPTC) offers many workshops to community members free of charge. One of our latest courses targets a broad cross section of seniors, senior caregivers, family members, friends, home health providers, and medical personnel to help them better understand the actions that might be required of them during a natural disaster. Seniors are frequently the most vulnerable population during a natural disaster because they often require additional support or have special needs. This 4-hour hands-on workshop focuses specifically on planning and preparedness actions that caregivers of seniors can take to help ensure the continued health, safety, and security of the senior(s) in their care.

02 Building Senior Resilience - Generations Magazine - February-March 2013Natural disasters can happen with little or no warning, but that doesn’t mean that we are completely powerless to protect ourselves or that we must depend entirely on emergency management personnel to rescue us. Did you know that individuals, families and businesses in Hawai‘i should expect to be on their own for at least 7 days after a disaster? The goal of this workshop is to empower you and help minimize risks and ultimately to reduce the impact of the natural disaster on the people you love and care for.

Here’s a list of some of the topics we explore in this course:

  • Identifying types of hazards and their potentials to cause fatalities, injuries, property damage, infrastructure damage, damage to the environment, interruption of business, or other types of harm or loss (FEMA, 1997)
  • Preparing caregivers in advance to reduce vulnerabilities of seniors in emergencies
  • Assessing and managing constraints and vulnerabilities of older persons such as mobility issues, medical conditions, disabilities, social and economic constraints
  • Developing a plan of action (e.g. evacuation, sheltering, feeding, transportation, accommodating persons with disabilities, ongoing and emergency care, etc.)
  • Organizing an extended support system
  • Amassing critical equipment, resources, food and water provisions
  • Building resilience and attending to the overall well-being of seniors during and
    after disaster

Resilience is key in dealing with any of life’s difficulties, especially in natural disasters. It means being able to rebound or recover so that you can get on with your life. For seniors, knowing that there is a specific emergency plan in place will encourage confidence and peace of mind. For caregivers, being trained and prepared to deal with natural disasters will help to reduce anxieties about their caregiving duties and
responsibilities so that they can perform them with confidence.

We hope to see you at this workshop and encourage you to contact us by phone or visit online for more information, as well as for more training opportunities and resources that we offer.

Natural Disaster Preparedness Training Center
p: 808-956-0600 | f: 808-536-9110 |


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