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Emergency Preparedness in Personal Care Homes

by Hussar, Alexa Joyce

Abstract (Summary)
This thesis is of public health significance because it examines the level of preparedness in personal care homes in Allegheny County and helps to obtain a better understanding of whether disaster preparedness education and training is sufficient for the residents and employees of personal care homes. Emergency preparedness education and training, in particular special populations, have been getting more attention since Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and other recent disasters. This project questions if Personal Care Homes receive proper emergency preparedness education and training for both residents and employees. The Personal Care Home Facility Preparedness Education and Training Survey investigates the level of preparedness of the Personal Care Homes by assessing preparedness factors. There are factors that are required for compliance and there are factors that in past disasters have been found to decrease vulnerability. The survey includes questions about the emergency preparedness plan, financial plans of the facilities and training requirements. Demographic information was collected along with the number of residents in the facilities with disabilities. A correlation was found between the percentage of residents with a hearing impairment and the total number of residents in the facility. The level of preparedness is determined by the sum of preparedness factors that were analyzed. The Preparedness factors were analyzed by required, non-required and a combined analysis was also completed. The required preparedness factors were established by using the PA Title 55 Licensing Requirements for the Personal Care Homes. The required preparedness factor analysis discovered that 48% of the Personal Care Homes surveyed were not compliant with state of Pennsylvania state regulations. The non-required preparedness factor analysis showed a lack of preparedness and the combined analysis had only 2 Personal Care Homes in the 95 percentile. In conclusion, residents of personal care homes in Allegheny County are more vulnerable during a disaster due to the lack of education and training of the staff and volunteers and the training and education requirements should be assessed by the Department of Public Welfare to improve preparedness.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Louise Comfort; Joseph Schwerha; Gail Cairns

School:University of Pittsburgh

School Location:USA - Pennsylvania

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:behavioral and community health sciences

ISBN:

Date of Publication:02/01/2007

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