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January 21, 2019
Designing a model of care for...

Designing a model of care for community dwelling older people after natural disaster in an Iranian context


Shokoufeh Ahmadi



Understanding the experiences of the older adults in responding to the problems encounter after disasters and how they were return is an essential prerequisite for managing the consequences of disasters and planning for disaster risk reduction. Given that there is no clear picture of how the older adults return to life after earthquake, this study aimed to explore the process and design the model of returning the older adults to life after earthquake.


The present qualitative study was conducted using the Grounded theory approach. Sampling was started with purposeful method and then gradually theoretical sampling based on the obtained data was used. The information was collected using semi-structured interview, field note and focused group discussions. Totally, in this study 29 participants were interviewed including 4 experts and 18 older adults with direct earthquake experience, 4 elderly carers and 3 relief workers and executive manager or staff. The data collection process and data analysis were carried out simultaneously. Data analysis was performed using constant comparison and Corbin and Strauss 2008 method.


 The findings of the study indicated that the older adults after the earthquake encounter with a "sudden change in the usual routine life" as the main challenge and beside with "underlying factors" and these conditions lead to “struggling to return back to life" in the form of "adaptive” and "maladaptive” strategies. The result of the struggling to return to life is "Living in new situation" appearing in both " Post traumatic growth” or "revictimization”

Discussion and conclusion:

Transparency of the nature and process of returning the older adults to life after earthquake can improve the knowledge of service providers and help them to plan their preventive measures by identifying patterns of vulnerability and cultural sensitivities of the community. Based on research findings, it is recommended that the concepts extracted are put in the form of concept development process and hypothesized for the relations between them and hypotheses are tested. Also, according to the findings of the study on the abilities of the older adults to work in activities such as search and rescue and psychological support of the family and society, it is recommended that planning be used for these capacities.

Keywords: disasters, recovery, older adults, earthquake


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