HEALTH

Saving the elderly from Irma: How Florida’s hospitals and care homes made shelters for the millions of pensioners who could not get out

Millions of elderly people were forced to find shelter in Florida as emergency services struggled to evacuate the enormous population of retirees from Hurricane Irma. 

About 25 percent of the state’s population is 60 years or older, and 30 percent of them are living with at least one disability, according to the Department of Elder Affairs in Florida.

When Hurricane Harvey ripped through Texas, it caused flooded care homes and dirty water filled with diseases that created health risks for those who could not get out.

Florida, especially in the south of the state, is a hub for the retirees.

Care homes and hospitals have been scrambling to find solutions to protect their patients from risks such as transportation problems, increased health symptoms and psychological issues during the storm.

Experts released a study in 2011 claiming that leaving elderly at their care homes during a natural disaster is more beneficial to their health and will keep them alive.

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