ELDERLY 2XMORE LIKELY TO DIE IN FIRES
The U.S. Fire Administration estimates that older adults are more than twice as likely than the general population to die in fires. One-quarter of the Paradise residents, in the devastating fire that burnt down an entire California town in 2018, through PG&E Malfeasance had a disability which is double the statewide statistic. One geriatric care manager who lives there, lost his home and practice trying to rescue a local older client.
Decades of research confirm that the physical limitations that accompany advanced age make it much more difficult to escape disaster, but so do the social isolation and stubbornness that experts say are common among the elderly.
BREATHING PROBLEMS FOR SENIORS UBER RISK IN FIRES
The elderly are at the greatest risk for fire-related breathing problems according to the CDC.So if they just live in fire-prone areas and do not lose their home the very air they breathe can make them ill or actually kill them. Wildfire smoke can in the worst cases be deadly, especially among older people. Studies have shown that when waves of smoke hit, the rate of hospitalizations rises, and patients experience respiratory problems, heart attacks, and strokes.
In 23 counties, older Californians overwhelmingly choose to live in fire-prone areas. Including in San Luis Obispo County, where 82% do live in rural areas.
That means nearly 2 million older Californians live in areas where wildfire is a formidable threat. It is not only the elderly who are losing homes in these rural Forest fires but those in facilities.
According to NPR in San Francisco, there are more than 10,000 long-term care facilities in California, from six-bed assisted living homes to large nursing centers.
Their analysis found that 35% of these facilities are in risky areas. With as many as 105,000 residents to safeguard if fire comes, these care home operators must now consider how to evacuate during a pandemic, a more complicated and difficult task.
California is aging faster than the rest of the country. In 10 years, the state projects the number of people over 65 will grow to 8.6 million.
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY FIRES TURNED REDWOODS INTO INFERNOS
In my county, Santa Cruz, wildfires in our Santa Cruz mountain forest burnt down 25 % of our county in the past month. Among the many senior facilities damaged was Brookdale Senior Living which was evacuated due to smoke damage and inhalation by residents, along with the Kaiser facility. Both had to send patients to the Bay area, where the Brookdale case, frail confused elders were sleeping on cots close to each other, risking COVID -19 and exacerbating their confusion, according to one daughter who moved her mother to her home in Santa Cruz permanently.
ELDERS COLLIDE WITH CLIMATE CHANGE
“There is absolutely a colliding of the events of both population aging and climate change,” said the University of South Florida gerontologist Kathryn Hyer.
TRUMP ANSWER CA MANAGE FOREST- YET FEDS CONTROL 57%- CA 3%
President Trump claimed when he came to California a few days ago that the problem with wildfires was forest management. Governor Newsome agreed but pointed out that 57% of California forests are managed by the federal government and 3% by the state of California. When it was pointed out in that state meeting that the problems with the forest were rooted in climate change, Trump’s answer was, it will get colder, you’ll see..
Trump has rolled back regulations, like auto emissions that prevented climate change- now ravaging our forests .“As a historic figure, he is one of the most culpable men in America contributing to the suffering and death that is now occurring through climate-related tragedy,” Jerry Brown, the former California governor who made climate change his signature issue, said in an interview on Sunday
It seems that it is only getting hotter, harder to breathe more dangerous for all Western residents
but radically more so for elders, who are number 1 in health problems, number 1 risk in COVID and breathing problems and live at home or in facilities in the middle of these mammoth forests, turned into infernos of death