Evacuation of elders during disasters to be addressed at GSA's upcoming annual meeting

To outline how the government, communities, and families can respond more effectively to the needs of the elderly in times of natural disaster, a panel of experts has been assembled for the closing session of the fast-approaching 58th Annual Scientific Meeting of The Gerontological Society of America (GSA). This team will use the context of the recent hurricanes in the Southeastern United States to discuss what went wrong, what could have been done differently, and what the implications are for research studies and policy formation.

GSA President Charles F. Longino, Jr. and AARP Office of Academic Affairs Director H.R. Moody are going to be joined by three individuals who have worked first-hand in these types of crisis situations. Charles Cefalu, Director of the Gerontology Program at Louisiana State University and President of the Louisiana Geriatrics Society, will speak from personal experience about Katrina and the pros and cons of evacuating the elderly, particularly those in long-term care settings. Barbara Newhouse, Vice President of Chapter Relations for the Alzheimer's Association, was assigned to Louisiana after Katrina and will report on the circumstances they found and the actions the Louisiana chapter took. She will also offer insights into future disaster preparedness measures for families of people with dementia, for facilities, and for first responders. E. Bentley Lipscomb, AARP Director for the State of Florida, will share the strategies developed by Florida after Hurricane Andrew, when he was Secretary of the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. He will also speak to refinements being proposed in response to his experience with Hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan, Jeanne, Katrina and Wilma.

This discussion (scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 22nd) takes place on the conference's final day, which will be free and open to the public. (Members of the media may attend any day at no charge.) Below is a highlights list of other g

Contact: Todd Kluss
The Gerontological Society of America

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