Climate Change and the Elderly
I just had the pleasure of being training by Vice President Al Gore's Climate Reality Program. Although I have long known the devastating effects the increasing levels of CO2 in the atmosphere is having - I really wasn't aware of the immediate health impacts this is having specifically on our most vulnerable citizens - the elderly and the disabled.
Heat stroke is the most obvious - as the global temperatures increase we get hotter and longer summers- simply it is getting hotter. The elderly are very vulnerable to heat and can succumb to heat stroke much quicker than a younger person. Loosing electric during black outs will continue to occur more often as there is a higher usage in the hot months. Being stuck in a home or apartment with no A/C, fan or elevator - and having no way to get out can mean death for many elderly. Heat stroke is only one of the problems - asthma, tick borne illnesses, water contamination......The US Global Change Research Program (federal agency) has published a study on the overall impact on health which can be found here.
The Environmental Protection Agency has published a guide that offers advise to aging Americans who will be impacted by climate change.
You can download it right here.