Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Intervention helps older adults prepare for emergencies

Date:
October 21, 2013
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
A researcher has found a way to help older adults who live independently better prepare for health emergencies.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults age 65 and older falls at least once every year. These falls can result in moderate to severe injuries, such as hip fractures and head traumas, and can increase the risk of early death. Now, a University of Missouri researcher has found a way to help older adults who live independently better prepare for health emergencies.

Related Articles


"Older adults want to be independent and live at home rather than in nursing homes," said Lawrence Ganong, professor and co-chair of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies at MU. "However, older adults living alone have increased risk of injury during emergencies. Adults living in rural communities are especially at risk because there are fewer healthcare professionals in these areas, less community support and slower ambulance response times."

For the study, Ganong designed vignettes, or stories, that demonstrated fictitious older adults in emergency situations. Ganong had members of the older adults' support network, whether family members, neighbors or close friends, discuss the hypothetical scenarios with the older adults. He found that older adults who had discussed the stories with their support members created better emergency plans than those who only received emergency planning information from members of their support networks.

"Older adults don't like to be told what to do or how to do something," Ganong said. "When family members or close friends try to tell older adults what to do when it comes to emergency planning, they tend not to listen. However, we found that when family members presented these hypothetical stories to older adults, the older adults began to think of themselves in the emergency situations and began to talk about what they would do. The stories helped older adults think about what could go wrong and, consequently, helped them plan for emergencies."

Ganong, who also is a professor in the MU Sinclair School of Nursing, has created a guide for caregivers that contains the stories and offers guidance on how to create personalized vignettes. He currently is working on a way to make the guide available to caregivers and older adults via the internet.

"Creating vignettes isn't a difficult process, and most caregivers could grasp the concept pretty quickly," Ganong said. "The key is to make sure the vignettes relate to the older adults in subtle ways. It shouldn't be obvious that the stories are based around their lives but rather lives or situations similar to theirs."

In addition to helping older adults prepare for falls or other health situations, vignettes also can be conversation starters for other difficult discussions among family members.

"These vignettes, because they are hypothetical, are designed to make discussions easier on both family members and the older adults," Ganong said. "The stories make conversations more relaxed and could possibly help ease discussions about other sensitive topics, such as wills or funeral arrangements, to ensure that everyone in the families is on the same page."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Intervention helps older adults prepare for emergencies." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 October 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021153212.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2013, October 21). Intervention helps older adults prepare for emergencies. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021153212.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Intervention helps older adults prepare for emergencies." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/10/131021153212.htm (accessed February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Science & Society News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

China's "Great Firewall" Frustrates Internet Users

China's "Great Firewall" Frustrates Internet Users

Reuters - News Video Online (Jan. 31, 2015) The Chinese government moves to tighten regulations for virtual private network (VPN) services that are used to access websites and services normally blocked in China. That&apos;s affected many internet users in the country. Yiming Woo reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Excuses, Excuses: Weirdest Reasons People Give For Tardiness

Excuses, Excuses: Weirdest Reasons People Give For Tardiness

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) CareerBuilder surveyed around 5,000 workers and human resources managers nationwide to compile a list of strange excuses employees used when tardy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Obama To Outline New Plan For Personalized Medicine

Newsy (Jan. 30, 2015) President Obama is expected to speak with drugmakers Friday about his Precision Medicine Initiative first introduced last week. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Science & Society

Business & Industry

Education & Learning

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins