PUERTO RICO RELIEF EFFORTS
As we have seen on many news channels and programs, since Sept 20th, 2017, Puerto Rico was devastated by the strongest storm to hit the fragile island in Puerto Rican history. Hurricane Maria crossed the Island from the Southeast to Northwest, destroying houses, roads, and entire power systems including the vital communication system. As a group of health care providers with the support of our local business community as well the members of this relief committee will be focused on providing products and funds aimed at the frail geriatric population.
People of all ages are currently suffering the lack of basic supplies including food, water and medical care. The elderly, or as Puerto Ricans call them, their “viejitos”, are among the most affected. They are not only suffering the lack of basic supplies but due to their frailty, they also rely on the assistance of others for their daily living. Many “viejitos” are currently living in nursing homes and “long-term care houses” around the Island. In Florida we have wonderful agencies that support the different LTC sectors such as the Florida Health Care Association and the Agency for Health Care Association, but Puerto Rico does not have such organizations.
After working for many years in the post-acute care setting in the Central Florida area, we know how important it is to have health care and supplies for our elderly to be able to stay alive and have quality of life. Without these supplies and the care they need, this frail community will die. Many do not have electricity and run the danger of the insulin going bad, dialysis patients need services, and much more.
We are asking for donations of health care supplies from vendors across the care continuum from blue pads to supplements, in addition to the basic needs including water, first aid supplies, and packaged foods. In addition to the donations of health care goods, we are also asking for monetary donations to buy some of these supplies ourselves and also arrange for their delivery to the island. Our goal is to reach $50,000.00 by the end of October. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated and tax-deductible.