Dementia as an Outcome of Displacement

As if we did not have enough to worry about in the post-disaster period, this new study adds a sad new dimension. See: Disasters may raise dementia risk for dislocated seniors: Study. Earthquakes, floods and other natural disasters may raise dementia risk for seniors forced to leave their homes, a new study suggests. Some details:

“In the aftermath of disasters, most people focus on mental health issues like PTSD,” said study author Hiroyuki Hikichi, a research fellow at Harvard University’s School of Public Health, in Boston.

“But our study suggests that cognitive decline is also an important issue,” Hikichi said in a university news release.

Relocation to a temporary shelter after a disaster may have the unintended effect of separating people not just from their homes but from their neighbors — and both may speed up mental decline among vulnerable people, Hikichi’s team noted.

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