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.

"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 October 21, 2014 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 October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Science & Society News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

CDC Revamps Ebola Guidelines After Criticism

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have issued new protocols for healthcare workers interacting with Ebola patients. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Trials to Start a in January

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Tens of thousands of doses of experimental Ebola vaccines could be available for "real-world" testing in West Africa as soon as January as long as they are deemed safe in soon to start trials, the World Health Organization said Tuesday. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

Urgent-Care Clinics Ill-Equipped to Treat Ebola

AP (Oct. 21, 2014) Urgent-care clinics popping up across the US are not equipped to treat a serious illness like Ebola and have been told to immediately call a hospital and public health officials if they suspect a patient may be infected. (Oct. 21) Video provided by AP
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