If you live in Florida, you are likely familiar with our seasons: tourist, summer and hurricane.
Each year hurricane season begins June 1 and lasts five months, with peak season occurring between Aug. and Oct. Bringing powerful winds and torrential rain, hurricanes are said to be the most violent storms on Earth. Even low category storms can often lead to the loss of essential services such as electricity, water, gas and communication channels. If outages are prolonged, they can potentially impact health and safety.
Given the sunshine state, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), has sustained an astonishing 40% of all U.S. hurricanes, with 120 hits and 37 major hits, everyone should develop a hurricane preparedness plan. A plan is especially crucial for those with chronic health conditions, disabilities and seniors who have complex needs. These individuals not only need to prepare for the storm but should consider the days following as recovery could be delayed.
If you are an older adult, managing a chronic condition or disability or are a caretaker, the following tips should be considered when creating your hurricane preparedness plan.
Tip 1: Create a shelter plan
Should I stay or should I go? If a hurricane strikes, will you be able to safely shelter in place? Now is the time to discuss shelter and evacuation options with family and friends, especially if you cannot evacuate on your own or if you rely on medical equipment that requires electricity.
Evacuate. If possible, evacuate with family, friends or to a motel outside of the storm area. Let family and friends know your evacuation plan.
Transportation. If you require transportation or accessible transportation to go to an emergency shelter, you should work with local County services to identify public transportation, paratransit or private accessible options.
Special Needs Shelter. If you are medically stable but require help with basic tasks or rely on an electronic medical device, or on oxygen, and have no other evacuation options, you may be eligible to evacuate to a Special Needs Shelter at no cost. Contact your local Emergency Management office, or Health Department for eligibility and to complete the required pre-registration. County and Health Department staff will conduct a review of your situation to determine whether or not the shelter is suitable for your unique medical needs.
Tip 2: Create a medical plan
Medical care. If you receive regular medical treatment for a chronic health condition such as chemotherapy or dialysis, talk to your provider about a backup plan. Also, work with your care team to outline your current treatment plan in case you need to seek medical treatment from your evacuated location.
Medications. Be sure to have at least two weeks’ supply of prescriptions. According to Florida law, you can obtain a 30-day refill on your prescription medication, even if you just had a refill, when you live in a county that:
is under a hurricane warning issued by the National Weather Service
is declared to be under a state of emergency by the Governor
has activated its emergency operations center and its emergency management plan.
Medical history. Make sure you have copies of important papers – personal id, medical and immunization records, Social Security card, health insurance cards, prescriptions, insurance policies, and contact information for doctors and family numbers in your travel medical kit.
Medical Id. If you have a condition that might cause a medical emergency, you should consider purchasing a medical bracelet or tag to relay vital health information in the event you become unconscious or incapacitated.
Travel medical kit. Make sure you include the above items in your medical supply kit. Due to the vulnerability of paperwork and medications, you should invest in a waterproof container. Additionally, your medical supply kit should include necessary medical equipment such as blood sugar monitoring equipment, hearing aids, eyeglasses and extra batteries. Furthermore, to prevent the spread of respiratory viruses such as the flu, pneumonia and COVID-19 while staying in a community shelter consider packing face masks, hand sanitizers and disinfecting wipes.
Individual conditions. As you prepare, consider additional supplies or services needed to support a specific condition. For instance, if you are deaf or hard of hearing perhaps your travel medical kit includes a dry erase board to help you communicate with someone who does not know sign language. Or, if you have a mobile disability and require a walker, wheelchair or electric scooter consider keeping extra batteries, patch kit for flat tires and air pump on hand. If you use oxygen, ask your oxygen provider to help you secure a backup cylinder, a portable tank and necessary supplies in case of evacuation.
Tip 3: Create a basic supply kit:
A basic supply kit can help you evacuate more quickly or support you as you hunker down from the storm. Basic supplies should be stored in an easily accessible and moveable container such as a suitcase or box with wheels.
Recommended items include:
Your stocked waterproof travel medical kit (see above)
At least a three-day supply of water (one gallon per day per person), food (non-perishable food)
Battery operated or hand crank radio
Cash and important documents (store in waterproof container)
Manual can opener
Lighter or matches
Cell phone with charger and battery back up
Sleeping bag or blanket
Complete change of clothing
Whistle or other help signal
Personal hygiene items and sanitation items
Special needs items: pet supplies and baby supplies if applicable
Books, magazines, games for recreation
Hurricanes can be unpredictable and disastrous; the best course of action is to be prepared and . By following these tips, you can ensure you and your loved ones are safe during hurricane season.
Caring for children, adults and seniors, Healthcare Network provides integrated health where medical and mental health professionals work side-by-side to address patients’ physical, mental and emotional health. To make an appointment call 239-658-3000 or visit HealthcareSWFL.org
About the authors
Written by Healthcare Network’s Director of Marketing, Gabrielle O’Boyle, with medical expertise from Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Corin DeChirico, DO, FACP, CPE, and Vice President of Pharmacy Services, Dr. Martine Wooley, PHARMD.
THE ALONG THE JOURNEY PROGRAM WAS CREATED BY PRIORITY LIFE CARE WITH RESIDENTS, THEIR FAMILIES, AND CAREGIVERS IN MIND.The services provided are adjusted to fit each individuals abilities and specific needs. The program has been designed to benefit all stages of memory loss while remaining flexible enough to be adapted daily.The overarching goal is to ensure that each resident, as well as their families, feel connected, respected, and comfortable during periods of difficult transition. The program primarily targets those suffering from memory impairments, whether it be early-stage dementia or late-stage Alzheimers.WHAT IS THE ALONG THE JOURNEY PROGRAM?Along the Journey (ATJ) is a memory care program that launched in 2019 in Priority Life Cares memory care neighborhoods. Fundamentally, it prioritizes strengths over limitations. Activities are purpose-driven and not based on achievement, thus allowing those with memory loss to participate without feeling lost, confused, and agitated.This innovative program begins with a holistic assessment of the residents abilities, both cognitive and physical. Based on the assessment, a care plan is formulated and includes input from the resident and their family, as well as their physicians and caregivers.The plan includes information on the likes, dislikes, and cultural preferences of the resident. To keep the seniors as comfortable as possible, the staff makes every effort to provide a largely predictable routine.FOSTERING A SENSE OF BELONGING WITHIN THE COMMUNITYThose suffering from diseases that affect memory may feel left behind or forgotten. At Priority Life Care, caregivers work in conjunction with the ATJ program to encourage physical motion, stimulate mental engagement, and offer opportunities for spiritual and social connection.Life stations provide a sense of familiarity for the resident through tasks such as folding clothes and operating a computer. This allows the senior to focus on a specific, low-stress task with an attainable outcome.Social engagements such as trivia games and ice cream parties are scheduled, which allow residents the opportunity to become acquainted with other residents. The program celebrates small wins as significant achievements, allowing everyone the chance to be represented.Activities are thoughtfully designed around reducing any agitation and improving the mood of the residents. Social interaction is encouraged to ward off isolation, which can further impair a residents wellness journey.SUPPORTING THOSE WITH MEMORY IMPAIRMENTSMemory loss comes in stages and Priority Life Care recognizes the importance of providing a program suitable for each stage of this difficult journey. Through the integration of senior-friendly tech, residents across a spectrum of cognitive abilities are encouraged to participate in their care by engaging daily.To ensure a successful transition into the residential community, our staff invites residents to bring familiar furnishings of home such as furniture, cherished items, and other domestic objects. This creates an inviting environment for the resident, which eases the initial discomfort of being in a new place.Residents will enjoy a structured daily plan that focuses on wellness and supporting independence, all while ensuring dignity and respect. This environment allows those with memory impairments to maintain functional abilities for as long as possible while remaining comfortable along their journey.Staff with specific dementia-centered training and experience support our residents with memory loss, including accommodations such as dietary oversight, assistance with medication, and general hygiene.
As the population ages, there is a growing need for innovative and comprehensive programs to support older adults in maintaining their independence and quality of life. LIFE Pittsburgh, an organization committed to providing healthcare solutions tailored to seniors, stands out as a beacon of support for older adults in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. In this article, we will explore the myriad benefits of LIFE Pittsburgh and how this program plays a crucial role in enhancing the well-being of older individuals in the city.Understanding LIFE Pittsburgh:LIFE Pittsburgh, also known as Living Independence for the Elderly, is a program designed to offer a comprehensive and holistic approach to healthcare for older adults. The program's core focus is to enable seniors to age in place by providing a range of services that address their medical, social, and emotional needs. LIFE Pittsburgh operates under the Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE), which emphasizes a person-centered approach to healthcare. PACE Programs in Pennsylvania are often referred to as "LIFE Programs".Benefits of LIFE Pittsburgh:Integrated Healthcare Services: One of the key benefits of LIFE Pittsburgh is the provision of integrated healthcare services. Participants in the program have access to a dedicated team of healthcare professionals, including doctors, nurses, therapists, and social workers. This collaborative approach ensures that the medical needs of older adults are not only met but are also comprehensively addressed.Aging in Place: LIFE Pittsburgh is rooted in the principle of enabling older adults to age in place. The program offers a range of services that support seniors in living independently in their homes for as long as possible. This includes home-based care, transportation services, and assistance with activities of daily living. The emphasis on aging in place fosters a sense of familiarity and comfort for participants.Cost-Effective Healthcare: Participating in LIFE Pittsburgh can result in cost savings for older adults. The program's integrated model helps streamline healthcare services, reducing the need for multiple specialists and hospital visits. This, in turn, can contribute to lower overall healthcare costs while ensuring that seniors receive high-quality care tailored to their specific needs.Comprehensive Social Support: Beyond medical care, LIFE Pittsburgh recognizes the importance of social connections for the well-being of older adults. The program offers a range of social activities, support groups, and community engagement opportunities. This holistic approach addresses not only the physical health of participants but also their mental and emotional well-being.Personalized Care Plans: Each participant in LIFE Pittsburgh receives a personalized care plan that is tailored to their unique health needs and goals. The care plan is developed in collaboration with the individual, their family, and the interdisciplinary healthcare team. This personalized approach ensures that older adults receive the right care at the right time.Now, let's delve into how LIFE Pittsburgh specifically benefits older adults in Pittsburgh:Local Community Engagement: LIFE Pittsburgh is deeply embedded in the local community, providing older adults with opportunities to engage with their neighbors and fellow participants. Community events, social gatherings, and local partnerships contribute to a sense of belonging and community support.Transportation Assistance: Pittsburgh's hilly terrain and diverse neighborhoods can pose challenges for older adults when it comes to transportation. LIFE Pittsburgh addresses this by offering transportation services, ensuring that participants can easily access healthcare appointments, community activities, and essential services.Cultural Sensitivity: Pittsburgh is known for its rich cultural diversity, and LIFE Pittsburgh recognizes the importance of cultural sensitivity in providing healthcare. The program strives to understand and respect the diverse backgrounds of its participants, ensuring that care plans are culturally competent and inclusive.Navigating Local Resources: LIFE Pittsburgh serves as a valuable resource for older adults in navigating the local healthcare landscape. From assisting with insurance matters to connecting participants with community resources, the program acts as a guide, simplifying the process of accessing essential services for seniors.LIFE Pittsburgh emerges as a lifeline for older adults in Pittsburgh, PA offering a comprehensive and person-centered approach to healthcare. The program's commitment to integrated services, aging in place, cost-effective healthcare, social support, and personalized care plans collectively contribute to an enhanced quality of life for participants. As the population continues to age, programs like LIFE Pittsburgh play a vital role in ensuring that older adults can age with dignity, independence, and a strong sense of community in the vibrant city of Pittsburgh. To learn more about eligibility and more details on LIFE Pittsburgh, reach out to us at 412-388-8050.
Nice Things to Know About Saraland The Gateway to Progress Saraland formed its own city school system in 2006. It is now ranked among the best school systems in the State of Alabama. Students receive outstanding education in fields such as nursing, engineering and welding in state-of-the-art facilities. Since its inception, the Saraland City School system has more than doubled in size, from 1500 students in 2009 to over 3000 students now. This is but one example of the tremendous growth that the City of Saraland is experiencing. The City of Saraland was recently designated as an Alabama Community of Excellence. Saraland was the first and, to date, the only municipality in Mobile County to receive this honor. Saraland enjoys a very low crime rate which can be attributed, in part, to our police department. With their professional approach to community policing, the police team with our residents to provide a safe environment. Our citizens also benefit from outstanding fire and paramedic services with expedient response from three well-equipped stations throughout the City including 24/7 paramedic coverage. Additional city employees provide a wide variety of top notch services to ensure our residents and guests have safe roads, parks and facilities. The Infirmary Medical Campus has opened a multi-specialty clinic facility as well as a diagnostic center offering MRI/CT capability. Mobile Infirmary has opened a new freestanding emergency department in Saraland. Seven days a week, 24 hours a day, emergency care is provided. Future phases of expansion will outpatient surgery center and ultimately a hospital. Many new businesses are locating to Saraland. Publix, Cracker Barrel, Whataburger and several other new restaurants and retail businesses are planned. Saraland is home to over a dozen hotels including new hotel properties such as Fairfield Inn, Towne Place Suites, and Hampton Inn. Youth sports activities are very popular in Saraland. Saraland has, at present, 11 city parks for recreational activities of every kind. Plans are presently being considered for a state-of-the-art sports complex which may include facilities for baseball, softball, tennis, and soccer. The City recently opened the McAuthor-McKinney Recreation Center which offers an outstanding venue for young people to play basketball, volleyball and other activities. Saraland is a very family-friendly community. The City Splash Pad is now open. Also contemplated are an outdoor amphitheater for concerts and a Summer Movie Night series and an aquatics center. The Saraland Senior Center offers many activities for active seniors. Arts and crafts, painting, card games, pool, exercise equipment and computer lab are available with many classes provided. A nutritious lunch is available weekdays at the center with Meals-On-Wheels delivering food to homebound seniors. Located adjacent to the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, scenic boating, canoeing, fishing and other watersports opportunities abound. Saraland is part of the Alabama Forever Wild Land Trust, home to some of the most biologically diverse habitat in Alabama. This preserved scenic area is also popular for camping, hiking with multiple trails available, and bird watching. Saralands mayor, Dr. Howard Rubenstein, currently serves as the President of the Alabama League of Municipalities. He is the only Mobile County elected official to be chosen for this statewide honor since 1979. HistoryThe area that was to become the present day Saraland was included in a Spanish land grant to Don Diago Alvarez. Hence, descendants of Alvarez were the ones to give the community its first name Alvarez Station. Later land squatters moved into the area and were able, legally, in 1800 to begin purchasing property. In 1807 a land office was opened in St. Stephens to handle all land transactions. Some of the pioneer families who seized the opportunity to buy up sections were named Alvarez, Rice, Hartley, Moore, LaCoste, Williams, Tool and Cleveland. Ultimately, Alvarez Station was called Cleveland Station. The present name of the city is reported to have been given by C.J. DeWitt, a retired minister editor who moved south in 1890 for health reasons. He opened the first post office on the Southern Railroad in 1895. The Community is purported to be the namesake of his beloved wife, Sara. Saraland was sparsely populated during the first part of the 20th century, until an industrial and population boom occurred in neighboring Mobile. Northward expansion of Mobile in the 1940s and 1950s brought about the incorporation of Saraland in 1957. At the time of incorporation, the city reported only 125 residents. By the 1960 U.S. Census, annexations had swelled the population to 4,595. In 1980, census figures cited 9,844 Saraland residents. Current records report that as of 2020, Saralands population has grown to 16,319.Interested in Senior Activities in Saraland? Contact the Saraland Senior Center at 251-679-5511
As you age, your healthcare needs evolve and so should your care team. At Healthcare Network, we make your needs the focus. Our highly trained primary care providers offer patient-centered, coordinated healthcareto support prevention, treatment and optimal well-being. With locations throughout Collier County, you can expect to receive high-quality, personalized care, regardless of your income, insurance, or job status.