5 States

— As Floridians regroup from Hurricane Irma, it is clear that the state’s system for protecting frail older residents failed after Hurricane Irma. Ten people died in a tragic chain of miscommunication and inexplicable failure to act after a Broward County rehabilitation center lost cooling for more than 150 residents for three days during Hurricane Irma. Astonishingly, a fully functional hospital, where air conditioning was available, was right across the street. “Florida’s frail elders have spent lifetimes raising families and building …

Hurricane preparedness tips
5 States

— Power outages and flood water during crises like Hurricane Irma can quickly destroy food and medication. However, these essentials do not always need disposed of after a storm hits. It is important to note that food and medication should be disposed of if they have touched flood water, which contains contaminants that may cause illness. This rule also applies to nonmetal dishes, utensils and other kitchen supplies. Even foods that have been commercially sealed for long-term, unrefrigerated storage in an …

jeff johnson aarp florida state director

— By Jeff Johnson (This op-ed originally appeared in the Sept. 16 issue of the Sun Sentinel) Still struggling with Irma’s aftermath, Floridians were stunned by news Wednesday that eight frail elders died from heat-related causes after a Hollywood, Fla., nursing home lost its air conditioning.  A hospital with functioning air conditioning was across the street. A criminal investigation is now under way into the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills, but initial reports seem to indicate that miscommunication …

5 States

— The 2017 hurricane season has been tough for all Floridians – and it’s not over yet. For Floridians age 50-plus, for family caregivers and for Florida communities, there have been challenges to overcome from Key West to Fernandina Beach, and just about everywhere in between. For most Floridians, Hurricane Irma is a bad memory. The power is back on in most cities and towns, flooding has subsided and cleanup of storm debris is under way or even partly complete. But …

5 States

— In the wake of multiple deaths of frail older people after Hurricane Irma, AARP Florida called Wednesday for a thorough review of state and local emergency management procedures, state law and state funding for frail older Floridians, those living with disabilities and family caregivers. “Every major hurricane teaches us lessons,” said Jeff Johnson, AARP’s Florida state director. “After Hurricane Andrew, Florida responded with stronger building codes. Hurricane Irma also will teach us tragic lessons. Some lessons have already begun to …

5 States

— A portable or “whole-house” electrical generator can be a big help after a hurricane. But AARP’s Florida state director urged Floridians to take care when using electrical power generators for backup power during power outages, citing as many as 10 deaths across the state in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Three died in a home near Daytona Beach and another four were rushed to a nearby hospital, according to news reports. One man was found dead in his home in …

5 States

— St. Petersburg, Fla. – America’s grayest state ranks a disappointing fourth from the bottom in the nation in meeting the long-term care needs of older residents and people with disabilities, according to a new, comprehensive state-by-state study. The Long-Term Services and Supports Scorecard ranked Florida 46th among the 50 states on a detailed list of 23 specific indicators across five key dimensions on the report, issued by AARP with support of the nation’s leading organizations behind quality long-term care, The …

— Summer is coming, and that means not only fun in the sun but hurricane season, as well. AARP Florida urges state residents to be prepared for devastating storms—and to remember that not all mishaps come from the weather itself. Falling tree limbs or ceilings, broken glass in standing water and mishandled generators all can cause injury or death. Be ready by having three days’ worth of supplies, including clean water, nonperishable food, medicines and any needs for your pet. Remember, …

— March 2017 Nestled north of Orlando, off the I-4, the city of Longwood has been steadily coordinating its efforts toward creating an age-friendly community for its 14,000 residents, of which roughly 21 percent after older than 60 years old. The city currently has in place a slate of social programs — senior matinee, painting courses and fitness classes — but also runs the RuOK Program, which provides assistance and resources to its more vulnerable, elder residents. This visitation and emergency planning …

— March 2017 Of course a community that offers options like tennis, aquatics, shuffleboard, monthly food truck rallies, senior ballroom dancing would be a member of AARP’s Age-Friendly Network. Not only does Lakeland, which touts designations as a bike- and walk-friendly community, has these robust activities to keep their older population on-the-go, but they also offer a plethora of meal services for seniors who are more homebound. Meals and Wheels, VISTE Deliveries and food banks provided by churches offer services communitywide. …