elderly

When a natural disaster strikes, it's complicated to evacuate and care for some of the people most at risk — the elderly and disabled.

Now — add another complication: a pandemic.

 

With hospitals in places like Arizona running short on intensive care beds for coronavirus patients, health care officials must make critical decisions about which coronavirus patients get priority.

Some older adults are worried that the odds are stacked against them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports people over 65 years old make up 80% of COVID-19 deaths.

Nursing homes were not on our minds much before the COVID-19 pandemic. Then their residents began dying by the thousands.

While there are no definitive figures, nursing home residents and staff appear to account for about one-third of the roughly 90,000 COVID-19 related deaths in the U.S., according to The New York Times. Those figures may be low because some states do not report such figures and the CDC is just beginning to collect them.

The people most vulnerable to the coronavirus are older adults with underlying health conditions. And that perfectly describes the residents of nursing homes.

Updated at 11 a.m. ET

After shocking instances of nursing homes failing to disclose the existence and extent of COVID-19 cases within their facilities, the federal government will require nursing homes to inform residents, their families and representatives when residents or staff contract the illness.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday that teams of National Guard personnel were being dispatched to dozens of nursing homes and assisted living facilities where COVID-19 cases have been found to test residents and staff for the virus.

DeSantis said the four-person National Guard "strike teams" have already been sent to 93 such long-term-care facilities, where a total of 962 positive cases have been discovered. But he said he wants to further expand testing.

Coronavirus Cases Suspected In 19 Long-Term Care Facilities In Florida

Mar 19, 2020
John McCall / South Florida Sun Sentinel

The new coronavirus disease widened its attack on Florida’s most vulnerable population this week, with the announcement Wednesday that new cases were suspected or confirmed at 19 long-term care facilities.

The state would not identify the facilities or say where they were located. But one Fort Lauderdale facility may account for some of them.

CDC

Florida’s large population of senior citizens and people without health insurance make the state vulnerable to the threat posed by an outbreak of COVID-19. The number of cases in the state remain relatively small, but it has been growing as testing for the virus has grown.

People at risk for Alzheimer's disease could one day get their diagnosis decades earlier - at the eye doctor.

'Viva Girls' Is Aventura's Own Cheerleading Squad For Seniors

May 13, 2019
Alejandra Martinez / WLRN

When a group of elderly women from Aventura, Florida heard about the new movie "POMS," a comedy about women their age who formed a cheerleading squad, they wanted to make sure that South Florida knew they were the original cheersquad. 

Want to reduce your risk of dementia in older age? Move as much as you can.

We've all heard about techniques to get us more physically active — take the stairs, park the car a bit further from your destination, get up and march in place for a minute or two when standing or sitting at a desk.

Now a study finds even simple housework like cooking or cleaning may make a difference in brain health in our 70s and 80s.

The benefits of retiring in South Carolina's low country are clear to Joyce East. Her home, sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and downtown Charleston, overlooks 120 acres of lush marshland. Palm trees and Spanish moss dot the property.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

A meeting between residents, federal officials and developers at George Humprey Tower, in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood, ended in a glimmer of hope for some on Monday afternoon.

A social worker, Lisel Vargas, has come to visit Don Gregorio at his storm-damaged home on the steep hillsides of Humacao, a city on Puerto Rico's eastern coast near where Hurricane Maria first made landfall.

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