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Katrina hit the old of all races

The Times February 18, 2006
Katrina hit the old of all races

American Association for the Advancement of Science
by Mark Henderson

THE main victims of Hurricane Katrina were not black people but older people of all races, according to research showing that almost two thirds of those who died were over 60.

Although the floods that struck New Orleans after the hurricane last August hit mainly African-American neighbourhoods, the disaster was not a disproportionate killer of black people, figures released by the St Gabriel mortuary in the city have suggested. Of 768 bodies examined so far, 64 per cent were those of people over 60. Only one was a child under 5, and among white people none of the confirmed dead was under 40.

“The truly unique signature of Katrina is the selectivity for the oldest members of the population,” said John Mutter, the deputy director of the Earth Institute, at Columbia University, in New York. “People older than 60 died in numbers about three times greater than their representation in the population. Katrina may be the first natural disaster in history to be so selective for the elderly. When it comes to deaths, this was an age-selective disaster far more than it was raceselective.”….

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Older people in disasters and humanitarian crises: Guidelines for best practice

HelpAge is a very rich site in information for older people who want to do.

Older people in disasters and humanitarian crises: Guidelines for best practice

* Guidelines for best practice Published 2000
* Themes: emergencies, development
* English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Bangla and Mongolian
* Price: free

Based on wide-ranging new research from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas and 20 years’ global disaster experience, these guidelines aim to help relief agencies meet the special needs of older people in emergencies.
Read more information; download a pdf in English (527kb) or Spanish (505kb); or email your order for French, Portuguese, Bangla or Mongolian versions.

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Falls Prevention Best Practice Guidelines

Falls Prevention Best Practice Guidelines for Public Hospitals and State Government Residential Aged Care Facilities incorporating a Community Integration Supplement:

Section 1
1.1 Risk Assessment Tool
1.2 Environmental Audit Tool

Section 2
2.1 Medication Review
2.2 Footwear
2.3 Exercise
2.4 Continence Management
2.5 Restraints

Section 3
3.1 Hip Protector Pads
3.2 Nutrition Management

Section 4
4.1 General Patient/Resident Education
4.2 Patient Education – Specific to Dementia
4.3 Patient Education – Patients Admitted With a Fall—Related Injury, Including Fractured Neck of Femur (#NOF)

Section 5
5.1 General Staff Education
5.2 Education Material

Section 6
Evaluation Framework
Community integration supplement

Part 1
Supplement Contents
S.1 Introduction
S.2 Falls assessment and management guideline

Part 2
S.3 Assessment information

Part 3
S.4 Health promotion
S.5 Interventions requiring further attention

Part 4
S.6 Falls prevention brochure series

Part 5
S.7 Falls prevention: Your safety checklist and guide
S.8 References

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Distractions ‘hit ageing memory’

The study examined the brains of adults aged from 19 to 77

An inability to ignore distractions is the main reason why older people have memory problems, research suggests.

A team at the University of California, Berkeley, used scans to examine the brain’s ability to concentrate in adults aged 19 to 30 and 60 to 77.

They found the older people had no problems focusing on relevant information – but could not effectively shut out competing distractions.

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Esther Martinez, nonagenarian Tewa linguist, 2008 honor

For more on the remarkable Ms Martinez see the earlier post

Esther Martinez: ‘A way to honor her spirit’ Historical roadside marker celebrates Tewa linguist and renowned storyteller
11/8/2008 – 11/9/08
OHKAY OWINGEH — New Mexico honored Ohkay Owingeh storyteller and Tewa linguist Esther Martinez Blue Water (P’oe Tsáwä) on Saturday by unveiling a new roadside marker at the pueblo north of Española.

“It is an honor to have a marker that recognizes her contributions to her pueblo and to others,” said Martinez, speaking to the large crowd gathered at the site along N.M. 68. “She was a person steadfast to the end.”

The wooden marker is the second of 55 that will be installed around the state in recognition of influential New Mexico women. .. The marker program was conceived by three women — Pat French, Beverly Duran and Alexis Girard. They created the New Mexico Historic Women Marker Initiative and lobbied the Legislature to fund the project.

“As we drove around the state, we realized all the historic markers up and down the road were all for men,” French said Saturday as she waited for the cutting of a silver ribbon around Martinez’s marker. “This is to create a better balance.”

Martinez, born in 1912, was known as an exceptional storyteller. Her family said she could use almost anything as the source of a good yarn, even everyday events. “My mother’s stories had such life and character,” daughter Josephine Binford said with a chuckle. “You could see what she described. When she spoke, it was like she cast a spell.”

… Martinez received many national honors for her work in preserving the language and stories of her people. She taught Tewa in the Ohkay Owingeh (formerly San Juan Pueblo) schools for years and created a Tewa dictionary. She traveled widely to share stories with non-Pueblo people. She received the Teacher of the Year award from the National Council of American Indians in 1997 and a year later was given the Governor’s Award for Excellence.

In 2006, Martinez was named a National Heritage Fellow by the National Endowment for the Arts.

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