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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Older adults in Ohio are among the most vulnerable to extreme weather

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Monday, May 13, 2024   

Twenty percent of older adults in central Ohio either were not prepared or did not know if they were prepared for extreme weather, according to a recent study by Ohio State University researchers.

The analysis relied on data from the 2021 Central Ohio Regional Assessment on Aging Survey, which included more than 1,400 adults over age 65 in eight central Ohio counties.

OSU Assistant Professor in the College of Social Work Smitha Rao said the research is meant to be a conversation starter about how older adults are faring, and a launching point for area agencies on aging to help determine who is most vulnerable.

"To get a sense of where the emphasis of service delivery needs to be and who's missed out," said Rao, "because on the face of it you can say that almost 80% of the older adults are prepared, but it is those 20% who are unsure or who are not prepared that we should be focused on."

In counties where greater proportions of older adults had a lower income, lived in subsidized housing, and reported having a disability, higher percentages of respondents also reported not being prepared.

Nearly one fifth of older residents in Fayette County reported missing health appointments or not being able to get medicine, reach their job or place of volunteering, or get to family and friends because of severe weather conditions.

Rao added that the data also show that in some counties, older adults face daily barriers meeting basic needs - not just during extreme weather.

"Those were interesting results that showed up for us, in terms of how many people said that there were everyday disruptions," said Rao, "especially when we looked at the different counties and the differences within that."

Climate projections suggest that Ohioan can expect more heavy rainfall, extreme heat and air pollution days in the coming decades.

Rao said she and her colleagues have started a new project to talk directly to older adults and learn from their experiences, hoping to develop tools that can help them better prepare for emergencies.




Disclosure: The Ohio State University contributes to our fund for reporting on Arts & Culture, Environment, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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