RURAL LIVING ELDERS AT GREAT RISK IN FIRES _ELDERLY 2XMORE LIKELY TO DIE IN FIRES
Rural Living elders are at great risk of 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.
Rural Living elders at great risk in fires showed up again in the present Hawaii fire. The devastating Hawaii fire that just destroyed the entire town of Lahaina on Maui where over 90 people have now been found dead and this number is growing fast and 1000 are missing. This fire is rated above the Campfire which destroyed the town of Paradise in 2018. Many of those suspected dead in Lahaina are thought to be older people who could not escape quickly enough as it was a fire that was swept by Hurricane Dora’s 80-mile-an-hour winds spread the fire so fast that many many just could not escape. Lionel Montalvo, retired fire chief in Lahaina, said that many dead elderly would be found
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 is 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, 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.
Rural Living elders are at great risk of fires. 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.
RURAL LIVING ELDERS AT GREAT RISK IN FIRES SANTA CRUZ COUNTY FIRES TURNED REDWOODS INTO INFERNOS
In Santa Cruz, California, where my home and my home office are located wildfires in our Santa Cruz mountain forest burnt down 25 % of our county in 2020. Of the two most damaged areas in the county was Bonnydoon, a rural area overlooking the Pacific which is very beautiful and rural. Among the many senior facilities damaged was Brookdale Senior Living which was evacuated due to smoke damage and inhalation by residents. They had to send patients to the Bay area, and in 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. The elderly population represents 1/5 of our population and growing. Climate disasters as we can see from one climate catastrophe after another this year -like the Maui fire explode in power and frequency. According to the EPA, these colliding statistics are a formula for a disaster in a disaster.
Climate change is having a significant impact on wildfires according to the National Oceanic &Atmospheric Administration
Rural Living elders a great risk of fires and it is only getting hotter, harder to breathe more dangerous for all worldwide US residents reflected in the heat wave in Arizona and Texas with a high-risk population of aging individuals but radically more so for elders, who are number 1 in health problems and live at home or in facilities in the middle of these mammoth forests, turned into infernos of death