Civic Engagement Research Fellow Lunch Presentation
“Older Adults’ Vulnerabilities to Extreme Weather in Western New York: Results from a Survey of Meals on Wheels Clients”
Description: UB researchers teamed with Kenmore-Tonawanda Meals on Wheels staff to survey clients (age 60 years or more) about their preparations for and ability to cope with the effects of winter storms. Nearly half of the respondents expressed anxiety about impending winter weather, making it at least a low-level stressor for many. Unless the family members and neighbors on whom so many of the respondents depend live very nearby, an extreme winter storm might prevent the “typical” social support network from reaching suburban older adults. Research findings emphasize the need for contingency plans among formal service providers to fill the breach in support when extreme weather events disrupt usual patterns of assistance. This research was supported by a 2011-12 Civic Engagement Research Fellowship awarded to Dr. Hess.