Florida can’t care for all of its frailest seniors

At 71, Gloria Litton can’t bathe herself, feed herself or get out of bed at her Delray Beach home without being carried. Her husband, John, 67, owned a land surveying company, but he had to stop working to care for Gloria since a 2006 breast cancer diagnosis and a string of accidents and illnesses from which she never recovered.

“It’s like having a job where you never get any time off,” he said. “It’s 24-7. It’s all I can do.”

Although Litton scored a 5 — ranking her the most frail and most in need of care on a state assessment — she sat nearly six months on a waitlist before qualifying for in- home help, hot meals delivered to her home and several hours of respite for John each week.

The Littons are lucky. An aging wave in Florida has pushed waitlists for senior care to historic highs.

Florida is one of the nation’s oldest states. One in 20 residents is 80 or older. That’s more than 1 million Floridians.

– Palm Beach Post

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