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Hurricane Irma caused over 400 senior deaths in Florida, study says

The aftereffects of 2017’s Hurricane Irma appear to have killed more than 400 senior residents of Florida nursing homes, a new university study shows.

Researchers at the University of South Florida and Brown University concluded that 433 additional patients died within 90 days of the September 2017 storm, compared to the same period in 2015, when there were no hurricanes.

Their study examined health data for 62,000 patients at 640 Florida nursing homes obtained from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, according to the Tampa Bay Times. The study was recently released.

HURRICANE DELTA’S DEATH TOLL AT 4 AS LOUISIANA OFFICIALS STRESS GENERATOR SAFETY AFTER DEADLY FIRE

The study was prompted by the heat-related deaths of 12 residents at a Broward County nursing home. Authorities said those deaths were caused when the storm disabled the central air conditioning and the staff failed to move patients to a nearby hospital.

The study was prompted by the heat-related deaths of 12 residents at a Broward County nursing home.

The study was prompted by the heat-related deaths of 12 residents at a Broward County nursing home.
(John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP, File)

An administrator and three nurses who worked at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills have been charged with failing to prevent the deaths.

The researchers found that long-term nursing home residents suffered not only increased mortality rates after Irma, but more hospitalizations.

‘BUBBLE CURTAIN’ IS THE NEWEST CRAZY HURRICANE-KILLING IDEA

“Nursing homes need to really pay attention to these people when they’re in the process of reacting to a hurricane,” said co-author Lindsay Peterson, a research assistant professor of aging studies at USF.

In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16  and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands.

In this geocolor image captured by GOES-16  and released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Hurricane Irma, a potentially catastrophic category 5 hurricane, moves westward, Tuesday morning, Sept. 5, 2017, in the Atlantic Ocean toward the Leeward Islands.
(NOAA via AP)

Brian Lee, director of Families for Better Care, a nonprofit that advocates for better services at long-term care facilities, said the study shows that nursing homes need to do a better job preparing for hurricanes.

“This is an extremely vulnerable population, and nursing homes and other facilities need to do a better job of hardening their facilities to protect our loved ones,” Lee said.

After Irma, Florida required nursing homes and assisted-living facilities to install generators to keep residents cool in case of a storm. But the laws need to be tougher, Lee said.

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Nursing homes need generators that can allow cooling of residents in their rooms, not spot coolers that were used at Hollywood Hills. That required moving residents into large spaces to keep them cool. Fewer than 100 of the state’s long-term care facilities had temporary generators during Irma, the Times reported.

“We need to make sure that facilities can withstand these storms and not worry about transferring residents around and exposing them to potential transfer trauma,” Lee said.

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Braintree Announces Events For Senior Fitness Week

BRAINTREE, MA — The town Department of Elder Affairs has organized two events to help Braintree seniors stay fit and enjoy themselves.

This year, theDepartment of Elder Affairs will be hosting Senior Health and Fitness Week from Oct. 13 to Oct. 20. Events will be held Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., on Friday

All events during Senior Health and Fitness Week will take place outdoors at the Braintree Council on Aging at 71 Cleveland Ave.

“The Department of Elder Affairs, throughout this pandemic, has continued to step out of the box to create programs and offer services for the older adults of our community,” Elder Affairs director Sharmila Biswas said. “This will be a wonderful opportunity for our older adults to spend time outdoors with friends, while maintaining all the COVID-19 safety protocols.”

Events for Senior Health and Fitness Week include cardio strength and flexibility classes, classes on healthy food preparation, outdoor walks and live entertainment. For a full list of the week’s events, click here.

All events are free and open to Braintree seniors, but donations will be accepted.

“We are extremely excited to be able to host Senior Health and Fitness Week in place of our annual Pond Meadow Senior Walk this year,” Mayor Charles Kokoros said in a statement. “Sharmila and the Department of Elder Affairs staff continue to do a great job of planning these activities and programs for residents to enjoy.”

The department is also slated to host an outdoor bingo event at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 20. Outdoor bingo will be held at the Braintree Council on Aging.

In compliance with social distancing and COVID-19 regulations, guests are encouraged to begin seating themselves outdoors at 9:30 a.m. prior to the event.

Senior Health and Fitness Week and outdoor bingo are open to all Braintree seniors. Pre-registration is required, and residents can do so by calling the Department of Elder Affairs at 781-848-1963.

This article originally appeared on the Braintree Patch

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Newport Beach’s OASIS senior fitness center is reopening, albeit at limited capacities

It’s time to get physical again at the OASIS senior fitness center in Newport Beach.

City officials announced earlier in October that the fitness center would be reopening, along with other city facilities such as community centers for classes and City Hall. City officials said that this does not apply to the whole of the OASIS Senior Center.

“The city of Newport Beach has been determined to keep our community healthy and engaged in physical activity throughout the pandemic and access to our parks and facilities has been top priority for their wellbeing,” said Laura Detweiler, the director of recreation and senior services for the city.

“We have kept our parks open and have promptly opened amenities like the fitness center as soon as guidelines have been published by the state and county with safety measures in place,” Detweiler said. “Our fitness center members have been eager to get back into the gym and our staff was prepared for when the time came to open.”

The Orange County Health Care Agency on Friday reported a total of 1,167 cases and 25 deaths of COVID-19 in Newport Beach.

The fitness center will be reopening at a 10% capacity while Orange County remains in the red, second-most stringent tier for the state reopening guidelines. This means only six people will be allowed in the gym at a time, Detweiler said.

Gym users will need to make reservations before arriving and users are limited to three reservations a week for 45 minutes each.

Masks will be allowed to be removed while users are engaged in a workout on cardio machines, but otherwise will be required to enter or exit, use the restroom and move around the facility. Users will also be asked to social distance between equipment.

Staff will check for temperatures prior to entry and will clean equipment between reservations. Members are being asked to clean down machines before and after usage. Detweiler said that sharable equipment such as weights and exercise bands will not be available at this time. She added that all windows and doors will be open to introduce fresh air into the facility.

Staff will be required to undergo temperature and symptom checks. They will also be required to wear masks at all times in addition to increased hygiene requirements. The facility has also installed plexiglass along the counter of the front desk.

“Word has spread quickly among our members and they were elated to hear they could return to their gym,” Detweiler said. “Our staff has continued to work during the pandemic and were focused on many of our traditional social services to include meal delivery, transportation, wellness checks, virtual programming and much more.”

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Senior Official Explains VP’s Health After Mysterious Case At Debate

A flurry of speculation has surrounded the health of Vice President Mike Pence after he appeared to have pink eye at Wednesday’s debate with Sen. Kamala Harris. A senior Trump administration official told Politico that Pence likely suffered from a broken blood vessel, rather than a pink eye infection. 

Pence’s eye problem, as well as a fly that settled on his head, drew attention on social media.

Dr. Daniel Volland, an optometrist based in Seattle, also diagnosed Pence with a broken blood vessel.

“Eye doctor, here! Temporal Subconjunctival Hemorrhage OS is my diagnosis; it’s a broken blood vessel, not infectious,” Volland tweeted. 

Although some debate viewers thought Pence’s eye could be a symptom of COVID-19, the vice president tested negative for the virus prior to the event. Pink eye is a rare symptom of a COVID-19 infection.

“The number of COVID-19 patients that have been reported to have eye symptoms is relatively low. And when you have a population that small, it’s really hard to get a picture of the story because we just don’t have as many data points,” optometrist Alexandra Williamson, OD, recently told the Cleveland Clinic. 

Pence’s health condition is noteworthy, due to President Donald Trump’s positive COVID-19 diagnosis. If Trump were to become incapacitated, Pence would likely have to take over presidential duties per the 25th amendment.

Numerous members of the Trump administration and campaign have been infected with the virus. First lady Melania Trump, campaign manager Bill Stepien, senior adviser for policy Stephen Miller, Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie are just a few high-profile members of Trump’s inner circle to test positive for COVID-19.

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Gateway Family YMCA to join National Senior Health & Fitness Day celebration

The Gateway Family YMCA and Shaping Eastern Union County will join an estimated 1,000 local groups nationwide to celebrate the 27th Anniversary of National Senior Health & Fitness Day on Wednesday, Oct. 28. The YMCA is offering free virtual programs with registration available at www.tgfymca.org/events.

According to Krystal R. Canady, CEO, The Gateway Family YMCA, “National Senior Health & Fitness Day is the perfect opportunity for seniors to make, renew, and revitalize their commitment to lead healthier lives through wellness, nutrition and programs designed specifically to meet their needs. This is even more important today while we are practicing social distancing and may not be as active as usual.”

During National Senior Health and Fitness Day, participants will join with an estimated 100,000 older adults across the country participating in local virtual activities to help promote active, healthy lifestyles through physical activity, good nutrition and preventative care.

Throughout the day, the community is invited to visit The Gateway Family YMCA’s Facebook page for helpful resources, information and updates and discussions at www.facebook.com/GatewayFamilyY.

For more information on National Senior Health and Fitness Day at The Gateway Family YMCA visit www.tgfymca.org or email [email protected]

Shaping Eastern Union County works to improve the health and well-being of county residents and creating strategies to support improved health, nutrition and physical activity for all. Shaping Elizabeth, Shaping Rahway and Shaping Union are also sponsoring the event.

In addition to National Senior Health and Fitness Day events, The Gateway Family YMCA has been providing virtual chronic disease self-management programs free to the local community throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Interested participants can also register for the Blood Pressure Self-Monitoring Program (BPSM) and the Diabetes Empowerment Education Program (DEEP) at www.tgfymca.org.

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