Disaster Planning, Preparedness, & Response for Rural Long-Term Care Providers
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Little recent work has focused on how rural long-term care providers plan for and respond to the increased incidence and severity of both natural and man-made disasters. This project will pilot test a provider survey and collect detailed case-study data that captures how recent disasters affect rural long-term care services and patient experiences. The growing proportion of older adults in the U.S. population, including rural communities, is a well-documented concern, with implications for many aspects of health and healthcare. The differential impacts of disasters on rural communities, and these communities limited capacity to meet the long-term care services and support needs of local residents, are important problems that needs further study. There is a gap in understanding how rural, long-term care providers plan for and respond to man-made and natural disasters. This is an observational study design. Investigators will use survey, document review, and focus group methods for primary data collection and analysis. Project goals will be met through two synchronous research activities to collect data from areas impacted by recent severe disasters such as the Tubbs Fire and Hurricane Harvey. The study team will develop and pilot test a survey for rural long-term care providers (nursing home, hospice, assisted living, and home health entities) located in communities that have experienced one or more recent disasters (2015-2018) and conduct case studies of disaster-impacted rural communities to specifically identify implications for local long-term care services.