The contribution of assets to adaptation to extreme temperatures among older adults
Abstract Background Climate change and extreme temperatures pose increasing challenges to individuals and their health with older adults being one of the most vulnerable groups. The aim of this paper is to better understand the roles that tangible assets (e.g., physical or financial) and intangible assets (e.g., human or social) play in the way older adults adapt to extreme temperatures, the types of adaptive responses they implement, limits and constraints, as well opportunities for better adaptation. Rather than focusing exclusively on extremes of heat, or considering each type of asset in isolation, the important and novel contribution of this paper is to take an integrated and multi-seasonal qualitative and quantitative approach, that conjointly investigates all categories of assets in relation to the adaptations that independently-living older adults make to both extreme heat and extreme cold. Methods and findings The paper examines the contribution of assets to adaptation to extreme temperatures among older adults living independently in their homes. An innovative mixed methods study with an inter-seasonal approach was implemented in Lisbon, Portugal with interviews and surveys during summer for extreme heat and winter for extreme cold. The ability of participants to adapt to extreme temperatures was found to be dependent on asset context and...
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