Scots weather has increased risk for elderly

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RESEARCHERS looking at the effects of extreme weather conditions on the elderly are warning health care professionals in Scotland of increased pressures this winter.

The researchers from Heriot-Watt University have joined colleagues at Durham University’s Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience to map areas most likely to face more extreme weather events and increasingly elderly populations, and have called on service providers to adjust their planning.

The study highlights the potential vulnerability of older populations in rural regions, often in coastal areas.

Professor Dr Dimitry Val, of Heriot-Watt University’s School of the Built Environment, said: “Scotland has just experienced two very harsh winters and the problems faced by the elderly have been particularly acute, especially in rural areas.

“The combination of extreme weather coupled with increasing numbers of older people is likely to increase the risks for infrastructure including hospitals and health centres.”

Recent years have shown that extreme weather events can be particularly severe in Scotland the researchers say.