Sep 09, 2017

By Bob Sheppard

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The mass evacuation of South Florida as hurricane Irma approaches is difficult enough for anyone, but for many older Zoomers it can be frightening and confusing.
Twenty percent of the population of Florida is over the age of 65, the highest rate in all of the U-S, and about half-a-million are over 75 in the three South Florida counties expected to be hardest hit by the monster storm.
In addition, the wide range of physical and mental conditions they suffer from present unique problems for those providing help, ranging from acquiring transportation to evacuate, and obtaining continuous medical attention for some, to providing accommodations that may be needed in order to replace damaged or destroyed residences.
Past experience with Florida storms and the need to evacuate, has seen many seniors extremely reluctant to leave the comfort zone of their home, whether it’s their own house, a retirement community, or an assisted living facility.
As well, those who have regular care have to deal with the fact that their caregivers must also take time to look after themselves and their families.

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