Older Adults Living More Independently: Articles Explore Emergency Response, DME

February 12, 2016 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​A pair of articles in the January-February 2016 NFPA Journal from the National Fire Protection Association examine fire safety, emergency response, and durable medical equipment (DME) in communities where large populations of older adults live, particularly as many older adults live more independently. Housing designed for older adults often has features that make emergency response easier, the first article notes. However, many older adults live in housing that was not so designed; in these buildings, issues such as narrow doorways may impede emergency response efforts. Naturally occurring retirement communities, for example, pose a particular challenge because of the number of people who need extra assistance. In addition, emergency responders may not know that a particular building is home to a large proportion of older adults until they show up to respond to an emergency. Older buildings may pose risks such as improperly maintained alarm and fire suppression systems.

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