cover image Climate Resilience for an Aging Nation

Climate Resilience for an Aging Nation

Danielle Arigoni. Island, $30 (224p) ISBN 978-1-642-83297-6

Older adults deserve special consideration during emergencies, especially in the face of climate change, argues former AARP policy director Arigoni in her informative debut. She outlines the many distinct areas—such as health, income, housing, mobility, information, and communication—in which elderly Americans may be at undue risk, and notes, for example, that people age 65 and older are disproportionately represented among recent heat wave death tolls not only because of medical conditions including poor circulation and heart disease, but also because of the risk of living alone and without access to transportation. With the U.S. Census Bureau projecting there will be more seniors than minors 18 and under by 2034, Arigoni urges policymakers to see older adults as a “prism” through which widely applicable solutions can be envisioned, allowing the public and private sectors to build “a better lifeboat so that everyone—regardless of age and ability, race, class, or income—can safely ride the rising waters.” She spotlights dozens of sensible age-friendly policy ideas for public health, land use, and disaster preparedness, such as a proposed New York program that would train elderly adults to identity vulnerable members of their community and link them with support networks. This detailed report paints a dire portrait of a vulnerable cohort. Policymakers should take note. (Oct.)