The disaster flood experience: Older people’s poetic voices of resilience

Miller, Evonne & Brockie, Lauren (2015) The disaster flood experience: Older people’s poetic voices of resilience. Journal of Aging Studies, 34, pp. 103-112.

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Abstract

This paper explores the experiences of older community-dwelling Australians evacuated from their homes during the 2011 and 2013 Queensland floods, applying the novel creative methodology of poetic inquiry as an analysis and interpretative tool. As well as exploring how older adults managed during a natural disaster, the paper documents the process and potential of poetic inquiry in gerontological research. The first and second poems highlight the different social resources older people have to draw on in their lives, especially during a crisis. Poem 1 (“Nobody came to help me”) illustrates how one older resident felt all alone during the flood, whereas Poem 2 (“They came from everywhere”), Poem 3 ("The Girls") and Poem 5 (“Man in Blue Shirt”) shows how supported – from both family and the wider community - other older residents felt. Poem 4 (“I can’t swim”) highlights one participant’s fear as the water rises. To date, few studies have explicitly explored older adult’s disaster experience, with this paper the first to utilise a poetic lens. We argue that poetic presentation enhances understanding of older residents’ unique experiences during a disaster, and may better engage a wider audience of policy-makers, practitioners, the general community and older people themselves in discussion about, and reflection on, the impact and experience of disasters.

Impact and interest:

2 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 84763
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: poetic inquiry, floods, disaster experience, older people, poems
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaging.2015.05.003
ISSN: 0890-4065
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > HUMAN GEOGRAPHY (160400) > Social and Cultural Geography (160403)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Environmental Sociology (160802)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY (160000) > SOCIOLOGY (160800) > Social Change (160805)
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Elsevier
Copyright Statement: Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution; Non-Commercial; No-Derivatives 4.0 International: 10.1016/j.jaging.2015.05.003
Deposited On: 14 Jun 2015 23:07
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2015 05:51

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