elderly

Hundreds Of Elderly Residents Evacuate In Osceola County

Sep 14, 2017
Kissimmee Utility Authority / Flickr

The assisted living facility, Good Samaritan Village in Kissimmee, experienced up to four feet of flooding after Hurricane Irma passed through. On Tuesday morning, 356 elderly residents were evacuated from the facility, while close to 200 residents chose to leave.

Thousands reacted this week to a photo of residents sitting waist-deep in floodwaters at an assisted living facility in Dickinson, Texas. The town did not issue a mandatory evacuation order ahead of Tropical Storm Harvey. The photo, and Texas officials' decisions to not evacuate, could have ramifications for emergency plans for Florida’s elderly residents.

World Elder Abuse Awareness will be commemorated Thursday, Jun. 15, and while seniors are often targets for scams and exploitation, health officials say elder self-neglect is a growing concern, a state where a person is no longer able to take proper care of themselves because of physical or mental impairment.

Nancy and Dan Gapinski of Glendale, Wis., remember a time when they couldn't really communicate with their own son.

"He used to not really have any kinds of conversations with us. He did a lot of echoing things that we said, and scripting from movies," Nancy Gapinski says as she and her husband wait for their son Ben's school bus to arrive. "A lot of times kids didn't know how to respond to him then, and didn't know what he was trying to say and conversations wouldn't really go anywhere."

Many men over 65 with low testosterone levels say their sense of well-being, not to mention sexual function, isn't what it used to be.

That's why some doctors prescribe testosterone replacement. But the effectiveness of testosterone has been controversial. Studies of the risks and benefits have been mixed, and the Food and Drug Administration beefed up its warnings about cardiac side effects of testosterone supplementation in 2015.

Emil Girardi moved to San Francisco on New Year's Eve in 1960. He loved everything about the city: the energy, the people and the hills. And, of course, the bars, where Girardi mixed drinks for most of his adult life.

About 10 years ago, the 83-year-old New York native had a stroke and collapsed on the sidewalk near his Nob Hill home. Everything changed.

"I didn't want to go out of the house," Girardi recalled, adding he only felt comfortable "going from the bedroom to the dining room."

He'd started to fear the city's streets — and growing older.

It took a lot of convincing to get John Evard into rehab. He was reluctant to give up the medications that he was certain were keeping his pain at bay. But ultimately he agreed — and seven days into his stay at the Las Vegas Recovery Center, the nausea and aching muscles of opioid withdrawal are finally beginning to fade.

"Any sweats?" a nurse asks him as she adjusts his blood pressure cuff.

"Last night it was really bad," he tells her, "but not since I got up." Evard, who is 70, says he woke up several times in the night, his sheets drenched with sweat.

After passing several major bills so far during the 2014 session, the Florida Legislature is taking the week off to observe the Passover and Easter holidays, the Associated Press reports.

If you’re an elderly patient with cancer, where you live may play a big part in how aggressive your medical treatment is during the last month of life, the Tampa Bay Times reports. According to a study by the Dartmouth Atlas Group, about 28.8 percent of cancer patients across the country were admitted for intensive care in their last days.

Mike Lang / Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Agencies that depend on funding under the Older Americans Act of 1965 face millions more in automatic cuts come Oct. 1 unless Congress acts to stop the funding reductions from the sequester, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. The sequester has already reduced funding by $87 million to programs that help seniors stay in their homes instead of turning to institutionalized care; that amount is set to double. Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Sen.

Robin Sussingham / WUSF

Sarasota County has a higher percentage of people over 65 than any other large county in the nation. And some business leaders now say that all those seniors -- rather than a demographic drawback -- could be a valuable asset. 

They could actually help diversify the economy - even turn the county into what they're calling a "mecca" for those who want to learn what an aging population looks like. 

Florida's statewide Medicaid managed-care gamble gets officially under way on Thursday, beginning with thousands of the state's most vulnerable clients: low-income seniors too sick to get by without help.

If all goes according to plan, taxpayers will save money and frail elders will get preventive and well-coordinated care. They'll have the medical and social support they need to remain in their own homes or in the community, rather than in a nursing home.

Doug Engle / Ocala Star-Banner

A mom and daughter in Marion County have been arrested for operating unlicensed assisted living facilities they claimed were emergency shelters, the Ocala Star-Banner reports. Investigators say Mary Deneen Alexander and Tara Collins-Johnson housed as many as a dozen elderly or disabled people in a single-family home, and forced them to turn over their Social Security checks.

Using a revised version of the Census Bureau's poverty measure, which takes into account medical expenses, the rate of poverty among those 65 and older is much higher than previously estimated, according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Florida Today

Congress' approach to cutting the budget -- automatic cuts called "sequestration" -- has affected the elderly where it really counts: food. 

The Orlando Sentinel reports that both meal delivery and congregate meals for seniors have been reduced.

Just how big is the gap in government spending? See the graphics that break down how money is spent on the elderly and children.