EPS Program available to help abused or neglected seniors left behind when emergencies declared With the full force of hurricane season ahead in Louisiana, it is extremely important to prevent tragedies which involve older adults during disasters, said Elderly Protective Services Manager Ebony Thomas- Phillips. Older adults can face obstacles such as lack of transportation during an emergency evacuation and after, or the impact of extreme heat following the loss of power after a storm, which Ms. Thomas-Phillips said are amplified when a vulnerable adult lives alone. “National organizations, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as those who study disasters point to the need for all of us to be responsible in recognizing and addressing the unique needs of older adults and taking steps to prevent their harm and abuse during emergencies,” said Ms. Thomas-Phillips. While Louisiana has extensive emergency response plans coordinated by local, state and federal public agencies to include emergency management personnel, Ms. Thomas-Phillips encourages the public, churches and neighborhood organizations to report frail older adults to the EPS hotline. She also said to contact 211 if any older individuals are being left behind during a disaster. “National studies indicate that the types of elder abuse, which are common during a disaster, can include financial theft in shelters or by contractors, abandonment and neglect of the individual, or violence inflicted against the older adult by loved ones who are under extreme stress,” said Ms. Thomas-Phillips.
August 16, 2022
Hurricane season can be tragic for vulnerable elderly