Due to modern medicine and technology, many seriously ill people continue to live in their own homes with support from caregivers and professionals. These people need a well-thought-out emergency plan to accommodate medical devices and medications.
Frail older adults with certain chronic diseases or disabilities require assistance to survive and recover from a disaster, especially if they are dependent on caregivers for assistance with their daily activities. Exposure to conditions associated with many disasters — such as lack of safe food and water, extreme heat or cold, stress, or exposure to infection — can aggravate chronic conditions that are common to older adults.
Chronic diseases — such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes— are major causes of death and disability in the United States, according to CDC. Furthermore, adverse events are more likely to occur if certain essential medications for chronic disease, such as insulin or blood thinners, are not available during an emergency. Populations of particular concern following a disaster include those with a history of heart attack, stroke, or breathing disorders; people with diabetes; and those taking blood thinners, certain cancer therapies, or other essential medications.