Using the Law to Promote the Mental Health of Older Adults during Disasters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Disasters may disproportionately impact older adults due to sensory deficits, diminished social support networks, financial limitations, and displacement from familiar environments. During and shortly after a disaster, older adults' mental health needs may be overlooked for varied reasons, including concerns about stigma and lack of information about available services. Law can protect the mental health of older adults in disaster and non-disaster circumstances, but it sometimes may frustrate efforts to address older adults' mental health concerns. This article analyzes three areas - Medicare services, staffing shortages, and continuity of prescription medications - in which the law has the potential to promote the mental health of older adults during disasters.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-83
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Law, Medicine and Ethics
Volume41
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2013

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Disasters
Mental Health
Social Support
Medicare
Prescriptions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects

Cite this

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abstract = "Disasters may disproportionately impact older adults due to sensory deficits, diminished social support networks, financial limitations, and displacement from familiar environments. During and shortly after a disaster, older adults' mental health needs may be overlooked for varied reasons, including concerns about stigma and lack of information about available services. Law can protect the mental health of older adults in disaster and non-disaster circumstances, but it sometimes may frustrate efforts to address older adults' mental health concerns. This article analyzes three areas - Medicare services, staffing shortages, and continuity of prescription medications - in which the law has the potential to promote the mental health of older adults during disasters.",
author = "Helaine Rutkow and Vernick, {Jon S} and Spira, {Adam P} and Barnett, {Daniel J}",
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