5 States

— TALLAHASSEE – AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson issued the following statement Wednesday following an announcement that Gov. Rick Scott’s administration and groups representing Florida nursing-home and assisted-living facilities have reached an agreement on requiring backup emergency electrical generators for cooling at long-term care facilities. “This agreement reflects encouraging progress as Florida faces the beginning of another hurricane season in only five months,” Johnson said.  “Now it’s time for state lawmakers to follow through and enact the provisions of this agreement into …

5 States

— With nearly 40 million Americans providing care for a loved one, it surprises many people to learn that the United States has no overarching strategy for caregiving.  But soon that may change. In December 2017, a bipartisan team led by Florida’s U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, and Mississippi’s U.S. Rep. Gregg Harper helped push the RAISE Act through the U.S. House.  Senate action on the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support and Engage Family Caregivers Act is currently pending. “We want to …

— Judges’ Choice Winner of the 2017 Caregiver Accelerator uses life experiences to help others After years in and out of doctors’ offices and hospitals, Bonnie Brown, once bewildered by insurance and healthcare protocols, became something of an expert. In fact, she decided to turn her personal experience into a tool to help save others from feeling overwhelmed and dispirited. Bonnie is the founder and CEO of A Better Life, which provides training and resources for health care consumers and caregivers. …

— 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 …