Objectives: To examine whether hurricane exposure, lack of access to medical care (LAMC), and displacement during Hurricane Sandy were associated with PTSD and other mental health (MH) symptoms among older adult New York residents. Methods: Participants (N = 411) were ≥60 years old at the time of survey data collection (1–4 years post-Sandy). Outcomes included PTSD, depression, and anxiety symptoms and stress. Hurricane exposure, displacement, and LAMC were primary predictors. Results: Older adults with greater hurricane exposure had increased PTSD, anxiety, and stress symptoms. LAMC had a strong association (ORadj = 4.11) with PTSD symptoms but was not associated with other MH symptoms. Displacement was not associated with MH outcomes. Discussion: This is the first study to examine exposure, displacement, and LAMC together and to examine their varying impacts on different MH outcomes among older adults post-hurricane. Findings support the importance of disaster preparedness interventions tailored to the MH needs of community-dwelling older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1131-1142
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Gerontology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • access to care
  • anxiety
  • geriatrics
  • mental health


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