Addressing the health risks of climate change in older adults

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Our climate is changing. These changes have an impact on health, especially in vulnerable populations such as older adults. Many older adults lack the physical, cognitive, social, and economic resources to avoid and/or mitigate the effects of exposure to extreme weather events. The purpose of the current article is to help nurses understand climate change and how that relates to the need for specific interventions to support climate adaptation for the older adult population. A model of exposure, contact to stressors, and adaptive capacity are used to address the health needs of older adults in the face of climate change. Gaps in nursing knowledge, resources for nurses, and a proposed agenda for research and practice in climate change are offered. Gerontological nurses are in an important position to lessen the harm of climate change in older adults through practice, research, and policy.




McDermott-Levy, R., Kolanowski, A. M., Fick, D. M., & Mann, M. E. (2019). Addressing the health risks of climate change in older adults. Journal of Gerontological Nursing, 45(11), 21–29.

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