Create social responses to a changing environment

Allison Gibson, Nancy Kusmaul, Skye N. Leedahl, Victoria M. Rizzo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Communities across the globe, including the United States, face unprecedented environmental challenges influenced by factors such as climate change and an increasing global population. This chapter will focus specifically on natural disasters. While natural disasters have always existed, the current uptick in the frequency of disaster events, growing evidence that disasters negatively affect older adults disproportionally, and larger number of older adults comprising the world’s population than any other age group make it necessary to consider the specific impacts disasters have on the older adult population. Older adults have unique needs during disasters due to vulnerabilities common in late life, as well as social isolation. This chapter details the needs of older adults across the disaster event phases: pre-disaster mitigation and preparedness, during and post-disaster response, and long-term disaster recovery. The chapter concludes with future steps for social work research, policy, and practice.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGerontological Social Work and the Grand Challenges
Subtitle of host publicationFocusing on Policy and Practice
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9783030263348
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019.


  • Disaster recovery
  • Disaster response
  • Environmental justice
  • Man-made disaster
  • Natural disaster

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology (all)
  • Social Sciences (all)
  • Medicine (all)


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