Health Impacts Of The 2005 Flood Events On Feedlot Farm Families In Southern Alberta, Canada
Free (open access)
M. P. Acharya, R. G. Kalischuk, K. K. Klein & H. Bjornlund
In the summer of 2005, southern Alberta received heavy rainfall that led to extensive flooding. Four separate flooding events severely affected several rural communities, roads, bridges, and businesses within the region; specifically, the flooding affected farm families living on Canada’s largest feedlot operations in the area. This article explores the health-related impacts of the 2005 flood events on families who reside on feedlot farms in southern Alberta. Utilizing random sampling, an in-person survey was conducted between September and December 2005 with 33 affected feedlot farm families living in the Lethbridge Northern Irrigation District, home of the greatest number of large beef feedlot operations in Canada. Three percent of participants (and 12% of their family members) reported flood-related health problems. However, 63% of participants (and 58% of their family members) reported flood-related mental health problems, and 40% (and 24% of family members) indicated that they experienced isolation and helplessness. Only 9% of the participants accessed health services. Most participants reported that their communities were more helpful in dealing with their flood-related health problems than were public and service delivery sectors. A majority (91%) of participants reported that their family was helpful, followed by friends (64%), neighbors (42%), church (39%), and employees (36%). Among the affected feedlot farm families, a small percentage experienced physical health problems but a much larger percentage had mental health problems. However, only a few utilized health care services. This information will be important to health care leaders and policy makers as they plan and develop efficient and effective health care support for farm families exposed to flooding events. Keywords: 2005 flood events, feedlot farm families, health impacts, southern Alberta, Canada, health care services, mental health problems, isolation and helplessness.
2005 flood events, feedlot farm families, health impacts, southern Alberta, Canada, health care services, mental health problems, isolation and helplessness.