— By Tom Scherberger Three months after Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the state and led to the deaths of 14 South Florida nursing home residents, AARP is gearing up for a legislative session it hopes will address the problems older people face during a disaster. “It’s tragic that it took the loss of a more than a dozen lives to discover where our system was failing older Floridians, and it would be a travesty if we, as a state, do …

— West Palm Beach, Fla. – Presented by AARP Florida, Your Aging & Disability Resource Center will be celebrating its 29th anniversary and its future at the Circle of Care Celebration Luncheon at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts on November 9, 2017. Featured guest presenters include newly appointed Assistant Secretary for Aging Lance Robertson; Dr. Jamie Huysman, Vice President of Provider Relations and Government Affairs at WellMed Medical Management, well-known for his work fiercely advocating on behalf of family …

5 States

— St. Petersburg, Fla. – AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson will share AARP Florida’s battle to protect frail older people in the state’s next disaster during a Facebook Live Event at 6:30 pm Nov. 8. As Florida lawmakers gear up for the Jan. 8 start of the 2018 legislative session, a top issue is elder safety in disaster. AARP is fighting to toughen provisions in state law protecting older people during natural disasters, including requiring nursing homes and assisted-living facilities …

— By Tom Scherberger Maria La Moureaux, a retired teacher in Jacksonville, spends most days caring for her dad, Arnaldo Umpierre, an 86-year-old Army veteran. Her sister, Mary Carmen, takes over at night and on weekends. “He’s had heart attacks, strokes, glaucoma and diabetes,” she said. “He’s still walking, thank God, and he can play cards. He can bathe himself but can’t drive anymore or cook or clean. Everything else we do for him.” La Moureaux, 56, has a heart condition …

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 …

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

— FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, Aug. 29, 2017 CONTACT:   Dave Bruns, 850.228.2759 dbruns@aarp.org ST PETERSBURG, Fla. – AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson today received a top honor from Florida’s largest aging-service organization, the Florida Council on Aging, at the council’s annual conference in Orlando. Johnson received the Dr. Carter Osterbind Outstanding FCOA Member award, named for a founder and former president of FCOA.  The award recognizes a Florida Council on Aging member whose actions reflect a high level of personal …

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 …

— Budget Showed Progress But Too Many People Still Wait for Help Massive savings for utility ratepayers due to defeat of risky out-of-state natural-gas exploration and production bill; but Florida falls further behind on help for family caregivers. Florida consumers who get their electrical power from investor-owned utilities will save an estimated $3.75 billion to $22.5 billion over the next five to 30 years due to defeat of legislation that would have allowed some Florida electric companies to charge ratepayers in …

4 States

— TALLAHASSEE — AARP Florida has honored six Florida state legislators with its “Capitol Caregiver” award for their work in the 2016 Florida legislative session on helping to ease Florida’s nursing shortage, establishing a state commission to study emerging opportunities in using telecommunications technology to deliver health and long-term care services, allowing advanced registered nurse practitioners and licensed physician assistants to prescribe medicines, and improving oversight of professional guardians. The legislators honored were: Denise Grimsley, R-Sebring, for sponsoring the Senate version …