New York's Elderly Among Hardest Hit By Sandy

AARP Urges People to Check on Elderly Family, Friends & Neighbors in Wake of Disaster

NEW YORK, Nov. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Sandy has come and gone in New York, leaving a trail of disaster behind, and few know this better than elderly residents in impacted areas. With often times limited mobility, delayed reaction, and reliance on prescriptions for their health, when disaster strikes, the elderly are left struggling. AARP New York is urging people to check in on their elderly family, neighbors and friends in areas impacted by the storm.

"When power goes out, the elevator goes out, and many elderly are unable to make it down a flight of stairs in the dark to go grocery shopping for needed items, and when they run out of a prescription, it can become life threatening," said Beth Finkel, Manager of Community Outreach for AARP in New York. "The simple act of checking in on the elderly can go a long way to helping them stay safe in times of a disaster such as Sandy, and in some instances may even save a life."

Additionally, with the loss of power comes the loss of the ability to heat their homes, putting the age group at an increased risk of hypothermia or other weather related illnesses.

Some tips and resources:

  • Check on Rx supplies: If they are running low, most pharmacies will provide a three-day supply (bring verification of prescription, such as bottle or script from doctor, if available). To find out a pharmacy's status, check here:
  • Groceries: Offer to assist with any grocery shopping. Check refrigerated food for spoilage. If in doubt, throw it out.
  • Meals: If the individual is in need of meals at least 60 years old, Meals on Wheels can be contacted here:
  • Medical emergency: Call 911. Medicare patients in New York can also now receive non-emergency care at a nursing home without a prior three-day hospital stay.

AARP Foundation announced it has established a relief fund to support victims in the U.S. devastated by Superstorm Sandy. AARP and its members are committed to helping those in need, so to bolster the Foundation's relief effort AARP and its affiliates will match contributions dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000, assuring up to $1 million in aid. The matching program will be administered through AARP Foundation.

The impact of Sandy continues to increase as news agencies report it as one of the biggest and most devastating "superstorms" ever to hit the United States. In the states most severely impacted, more than six million AARP members, their families and neighbors are struggling to recover from the storm's initial Oct. 29 impact. An immediate response to this urgent appeal will allow AARP to expedite support to those who need it now. To donate to the relief fund, please go to:

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AARP is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization with a membership that helps people 50+ have independence, choice and control in ways that are beneficial and affordable to them and society as a whole. AARP does not endorse candidates for public office or make contributions to either political campaigns or candidates. We produce AARP The Magazine, the definitive voice for 50+ Americans and the world's largest-circulation magazine with over 35.1 million readers; AARP Bulletin, the go-to news source for AARP's millions of members and Americans 50+; AARP VIVA, the only bilingual U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to the 50+ Hispanic community; and our website, AARP Foundation is an affiliated charity that provides security, protection, and empowerment to older persons in need with support from thousands of volunteers, donors, and sponsors. We have staffed offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.