Seminar - Built infrastructure for older people's care in conditions of climate change
The functioning of health and social care systems and the infrastructures supporting them are likely to be influenced by climate change, in particular by the increasing frequency and severity of weather related hazards such as floods and heat waves. Cold spells will also continue to be challenging in the foreseeable future.
Protecting people’s health and wellbeing from the impacts of climate change is critical, especially for older people who are particularly vulnerable to climate related hazards. Climate change in the UK is accompanied by population ageing and the proportion of people aged 65 and over is projected to increase from 16% in 2006 to 22.2% in 2031. It is therefore necessary to adapt the infrastructures supporting the health and social care systems serving the older age group to climate change. This paper addresses this combination of issues through a discussion of our work to map variations across England in future climate related hazards, and vulnerability and the risk these pose for older people. We discuss our analyses based on climate projections up to 2050 from the UKCP09 system and combine the results with environmental and demographic change data from other sources. We explain how this mapping has been used to identify areas of the country where the built infrastructure serving the older age group might be most severely impacted by extreme weather events over the next 30 years and where planning for adaptation and resilience is most urgently required.
Dr Katie Oven, Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Department of Geography
Prof Sarah Curtis, Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, Department of Geography
(Also collaborating on the BIOPICCC project is a multi-disciplinary team of researchers from Durham University: Dr Christine Dunn; Professor Lena Dominelli; Mr Jonathon Erskine; Dr Ralf Ohlemüller; Dr Sim Reaney; Dr Mylene Riva, Dr Jonathon Wistow, and From Heriot-Watt University Dr Dimitri Val; Dr Roland Burkhard, Dr Richard Holden and Sarah Nodwell)
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