Communicating with Older Adults in an Emergency
To take action in an emergency, people need information they can understand. Officials who work in emergency planning must be aware of the needs and limitations of diverse populations, including older adults. Age-related limitations such as cognitive, hearing, and vision impairments can make it hard for some older adults to receive and understand health messages or emergency information. A person’s cultural background, language, and literacy level can also affect his or her ability to receive, understand, and act on information in an emergency at any age.
Keep in mind the needs of vulnerable populations such as older adults, people with sensory impairments, and people with limited English proficiency when creating and broadcasting emergency messages or instructions. Consider their trusted sources of information, such as a popular local radio or television program, or senior center director.
At CDC’s Health Literacy Web site, you can find practical information, resources, and tools on how to develop materials for older adults.
For more complete information, visit the Communication & Messaging section of the Emergency Preparedness for Older Adults Web Portal on the CDC Healthy Aging Program Web site.
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