Seniors fight post-hurricane heat
HOLLYWOOD, Florida: Elderly people were ushered out of stifling assisted-living centres while carers fought a lack of air-conditioning with Popsicles and cool compresses after eight people died at a nursing home in the post-hurricane heat.
Dozens of the state’s senior centres still lacked electricity in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, and several facilities were forced to evacuate.
Fifty-seven residents were moved from a Fort Lauderdale assisted- living facility without power to two nearby homes where power had been restored.
“FPL has got to have a better plan for power,” one said, referring to the state’s lar- gest utility, Florida Power & Light. “We’re supposed to be on a priority list, and it doesn’t come and it doesn’t come, and frankly it’s very scary.”
Stepped- up safety checks were conducted around the state after eight deaths at the Rehabilitation Centre at Hollywood Hills.
The elderly can be more susceptible to heat because their bodies do not adjust to temperatures as well as younger people’s.
They are also more likely to take medication that affects body temperature.
Statewide, 64 nursing homes were still waiting on Thursday for full power, according to the Florida Health Care Associ- ation. The separate Florida Assisted Living Association said many of its South Florida members lacked electricity.
On Wednesday near Orlando, firefighters helped relocate 122 people from two assisted-living centres that had been without power since the storm.
At the 15 000-resident Century Village retirement community in Pembroke Pines, where there were also widespread outages, rescue workers went door to door to check on residents and bring ice, water and meals.
To the east, the Greater Miami Jewish Federation has been checking on elderly residents in their homes. – AP
Kudy Ann Bell at a special needs shelter at Florida International University in Miami. About 30 people, including staff with the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition for the Homeless from Key West, were sheltered underneath a parking garage on campus.