You'll learn about:
The impacts of climate change and disasters on older adults
"Age proofing" social and economic policies to support older adults throughout their lives and help them harness their volunteer contributions
Identifying strategies to enhance the resilience of older Americans to environmental threats and everyday life
Climate change is impacting a growing population of older adults. Seniors are more vulnerable to climate-related impacts. This means that a population that is potentially more susceptible to environmental threats is becoming larger. In attempting to prepare for these impacts, vulnerable populations face significant barriers, including: lack of funds, inaccess to transportation, difficulty reading maps and other preparedness content, and lack of storage space. As extreme weather is projected to increase, a new strategy is required to keep older adults safe. A Community Resilience Framework provides an alternative, evidence-informed orientation through which to approach disaster preparedness and response for older people. The basic premise of the framework is that a neighborhood’s response to and recovery from a disaster is largely determined by how that neighborhood functioned prior to the disaster. The implications of this paradigm shift are profound: resources should go toward enhancing communities’ social networks, connectedness, integration of assets, coping skills, and health care long before disaster strikes. This approach holds the significant benefit of helping to strengthen communities whether or not disaster occurs. In addition, older populations should be encouraged to volunteer, as their knowledge of the local community would allow them to play a key role in developing local response strategies.
About the Speakers
Lindsay Goldman, LMSW
Lindsay directs the New York Academy of Medicine’s work in healthy aging. She has 14 years of experience in program development and administration, aging services, philanthropy, and social policy. Lindsay oversees Age-friendly NYC, the Academy’s partnership with the City Council and the Office of the Mayor to improve all aspects of city life for older people. She is the lead author of the Academy’s report Resilient Communities: Empowering Older Adults in Disasters and Daily Life and the chapter, “Age-friendly New York City: A Case Study,” in the recently published book, Age-friendly Cities and Communities in International Comparison. Prior to her time at the Academy, Lindsay worked at UJA-Federation of New York where she was responsible for strategic planning and allocations to support older adults in New York and Israel. Lindsay also served as the director of the Health Enhancement Partnership at Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and received a Best Practice Award for her work from the National Council on Aging in 2008. She holds a BA from Wesleyan University and an MSW from NYU.
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Joie Acosta, Ph.D. is a Senior Behavioral Scientist at RAND and a community and cultural psychologist. Dr. Acosta specializes in community-based participatory research and evaluation of issues related to the behavioral health consequences of disaster, community resilience, and long-term recovery. She is currently the principal investigator on an ASPR-HHS funded study of disaster recovery partnerships between local public health and nongovernmental agencies post-Hurricane Sandy. She has worked with the Red Cross and local service providers to develop recommendations for involving NGOs in disaster response and recovery and has recently co-authored reports on the role of NGOs in long-term human recovery, lessons learned regarding disaster case management, and community resilience. She has also been engaged substantively in the development of the National Health Security Strategy and its accompanying biennial implementation plan. Most recently, Dr. Acosta has been involved in supporting local resilient cities strategic planning in Washington DC, Los Angeles, and New Orleans. She is also leading a project to examine the role that Age-Friendly initiatives can play in advancing disaster resilience among seniors.