Miami Proud: Broward organization is rallying to help seniors in wake of Hurricane Ian

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MIAMI – Charlotte Mather-Taylor has been busy since Hurricane Ian ravaged southwest Florida communities. As the CEO of the Area Agency on Aging of Broward, it is crunch time.

“We are part of a network of Area Agency on Aging offices, and we’ve been meeting with the others on a daily basis with the Department of Elder Affairs,” she said.

In the wake of Hurricane Ian, seniors are in need of daily items, and her team is rallying support.

“We are currently putting together a supply of walkers, adult diapers, and other supplies that they requested that they need for their seniors,” she said. 

Food and water are at the top of the list, which they have managed to secure and deliver in large quantities. 

The Sunrise office is serving as a collection site right now for the items requested.

The Agency is one of 11 in the state and helps Broward’s over-60 population year-round with health and wellness programs, legal and technical support, and ever since the onset of the pandemic, meal delivery.

“To this day we have delivered 5.7 million meals to seniors,” Mather-Taylor said. “Some of the latest programs created include gift cards for food shopping during this all-time high inflation.”

There is always a need to help the most vulnerable population, some of who don’t have family nearby. 

Images of dramatic rescues of wheelchair-bound people that made the news this last week cause Mather-Taylor to stress the importance of making sure in the event of another evacuation warning that people take action.

“Family members and professional caregivers: If you know of a senior who is vulnerable you need to make sure they evacuate, you don’t know what’s going to happen with the storms – they can quickly escalate and become much worse than projected,” she said.

The hurricane relief work is a long road as many seniors who were evacuated to Broward, and other counties could be displaced for an extended time.

“There are people that lost their homes, that lost their work or are suffering from many different things, and we are going to be part of a long-term solution,” said Mather-Taylor.

For more information about this agency’s work and their Hurricane Ian efforts, you can call their helpline at (954) 745-9779 or visit their website here.

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