Climate Change and Aging Population

by Yijing Zhang

According to Adapting To Global Change: Aging, Urbanization and Resilience by Francesca Birks and Katherine Prater, the demography has shifted towards an aging population across the entire world. The authors point out that as a relatively vulnerable group, the elderly deserve more help from the society, especially more from the government. Although the vulnerability of this population may not be apparent on daily basis, it will be exposed under extreme conditions, such as natural disasters like hurricanes and earthquakes. With the lack of medical materials and weak evacuation instructions, the vast majority of fatalities caused by Hurricane Sandy were the population over 45. When the Heatwave hit Moscow, the outcome of the forest fire was the poor air quality. Among the entire population, the elderly are the most susceptible to these consequences. Therefore, Birks and Prater suggest the importance of design solutions to address this problem. Continue reading