Houston health care providers learned some valuable lessons last year when the Astrodome filled with those forced from their homes by Hurricane Katrina. Houston Public Radio’s Rod Rice reports that they discovered that there was not a plan in place to care for the frail elderly, people who needed extra care because of physical or mental complications.
Dr. Carmel Bitondo Dyer is an associate professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine and director of the Harris County Hospital District Geriatrics Program. She says a team was developed to serve these special needs seniors.
“We developed a triage tool to be able to screen elders who needed to be moved pretty urgently.”
Dr. Dyer says the team took what they learned and developed recommendations to better serve the elderly and other vulnerable adults in a future crisis.
“There are ten recommendations that we think are pertinent for anyone in a position that can influence policy and process. These recommendations can help agencies, organizations, states, be better prepared for any type of emergency that might befall us in the future.”
You’ll find a link to those recommendations at kuhf-dot-org.