Proactive Inclusion of Elderly in Disaster Preparedness, During Extended Biologic Disaster Isolation Periods



Proactive Inclusion of Elderly in Disaster Preparedness, During Extended Biologic Disaster Isolation Periods


Turan Ayşe MD, Yıldız Busenur PT, Kapan Merve PT, Kılıç Eray PT, Aras Müyesser MD,

Elderly is susceptible to extended periods of isolation which causes deep impact on the personal biological structures and functional capabilities, and is nonreversible most of the time. From mental and psychological deprivation, to muscle and bone deterioration, the loss of capacity increases danger of home accidents and decreases the end of life comfort. The impact of inactive isolation is competitive with the harmful effects of the disaster. As a disadvantageous group, elderly is affected from the disaster more than the other members of the society.


Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) infectious pandemic will be remembered by the X generation as the year of 2020 pandemic. To avoid the viral infection, millions of people are trapped in their homes. Pandemic disaster, besides killing people with pneumonia, causes biological damage with its complications and inactivity in isolation, which increases over time. Aging people are struggling for healthy aging, wellness, longevity and mental health, despite being isolated and inactive. They need to be supported with professional mentoring. Most elderly can access internet and TV. Possible communication tools are needed to be used to assist them during the disaster period and teach them make use of this assistance to maximum.


The current challenge in disaster studies is to guess wisely how and who will be harmed the most from the disaster and what prevention planning can be prepared in time. The disabled are harmed the most in disaster situations. The elderly besides having impaired vision and low hearing, already have guantitative and qualitative loss of physical capacity. The’ isolation’ itself is detrimental for the disadvantageous groups as much as the disaster in question.


The technology can be a way to follow all individuals in jeopardy and make personalized planning according to their individual needs. Then similar groups in danger can be subjected to mass prevention interventions through internet and media. The individual needs could be followed to be satisfied by the healthcare system in collaboration with the local administration municipality networks.


Population of Turkey is 83 million, the capital Ankara is 6 million and 15 million inhabitants live in Istanbul. Ankara is the largest Turkish city after Istanbul. Country's 8 million population is over 65 years old. The 3800-bed Ankara City Hospital, which is the largest hospital in Europe, works with full staff during the COVID 19 pandemic. The COVID 19 Pandemic continues over the the next years. A difficult year is ahead. In cooperation with local administrations, screenings and surveys of representative elderly groups from different stratum of the society are performed. World Health Organization Quality of Life Questionaire is asked. Vision screening is applied. Chronic disease identification is recorded. Physical capacity is questioned.


The results are evaluated by a multidisciplinary expert group and internet programs are prepared to keep the elderly mentally and physically alert. As the social isolation continues, the needs of the individual elderly have to be periodically further determined. An artificial intelligence program may be integrated in to the successful national electronic health records system E-NABIZ. If alerts about individuals who live alone, be send through the family doctor system, the regular coverage of elderly will be achieved. Regular follow up and capacity building of the individuals automatically in digital system is fruitful. This initiative has been started with the contribution of the Ankara City Hospital, Physical Rehabilitation Hospital Multidisciplinary Team. The results of the evaluations are shared on line by the public, as well as the physical exercise recommendations. Be Healthy and Sound...



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