Older people wanted for health study

The latest component of the Hazelwood Health Study to get underway is a study of the impacts of the mine fire on older people.

This work will involve group discussions with older people and their families and carers, as well as interviews with key health and social support agencies.

“We know that there was a lot of concern about older people during the smoke event so are keen to hear from them and their carers about the health impacts,” the study’s principal co-investigator Judi Walker said.

In addition to understanding the impacts, the research team is interested in finding out what strategies older people used to cope with the smoke event.

“Many older people will have had to cope with other emergency events in the past so they may have insights to share with the rest of the community,” Professor Walker said.

The findings from the study, including a review of the policy decisions made during the fire, will inform emergency planning for future events.

The next set of group discussions will take place at the Morwell Neighbourhood House in Beattie Crescent.

Local older people are invited to participate in a group discussion on Wednesday from 5pm to 7pm.

A separate session has been arranged for families and carers of older people on Tuesday, 6 October from 5pm to 7pm.

Details of these sessions are available on the Hazelwood Health Study website at http://hazelwoodhealthstudy.org.au/research-areas/older-people/