Monday, September 11, 2017
Sitting at home watching the storm tracker, and being right in the path of Irma, I wondered what efforts are being taken to protect Florida's elders, so we don't see a picture similar to that we saw from Harvey. I'm not the only one wondering about this. The New York Times ran an article the day before Irma made landfall on the continental US. Long a Refuge for the Elderly, Florida is Now a Place of Danger describes the demographics, 20% of South Florida's residents are over 65 and in some counties, a significant number are over 75. The numbers, as well as the variations in health, makes evacuation and care for this part of Florida's population especially challenging when a hurricane arrives. Add to that the fact that many elders who retire to Florida don't have support of friends or family in Florida. Not every elder will evacuate and don't forget that the caregivers need to take care of their own homes and families at some point. As well, first responders notice everyone that once winds reach a certain speed, they will not respond to calls for help. Then once the storm passes, getting services and utilities restored becomes another challenge. For some, delays in having power can be life-threatening. Stay tuned and wish all of us down here well.