Winter Snowbirds Flock to South Florida

Snowbirds FloridaSnowbirds increase the population in Florida by about 20 – 30 percent from October through April. As folks flee the cold weather up north and in Canada for the Florida sunshine. It certainly is a key component of our economy. Restaurants, shopping and even doctor offices, hospitals and Rehab Centers balloon to a fuller capacity.

As nearly all “Snowbirds” are retirees and older, there are a few things to do when returning to South Florida for “season”. Working in private duty Home Care, we welcome our regulars back into service and meet many more folks who experience a health issue or fall while in their winter home. If you know you will need in-home assistance, it is a good idea to set it up while still up north. Certainly if you have help there, you will likely need help here.

Doctors and Duplicates

Between the sun and fun, ongoing health issues must be tended to, especially if you have specific medical conditions such as Heart Disease, Cancer or Diabetes to name a few. It is highly recommended to have a primary physician in Florida as well as any specialist you may need to see. Even though most everyone sees their doctors before coming down, unexpected health issues occur. You best have a doctor who knows you, your medications and treatments which may have occurred recently up north. Bring with you or have sent your latest medical notes and updates. Beyond the medical, it is important to have copies of your legal documents (Living Will, Durable Power of Attorney and Medical Surrogate) with you in Florida – and in your local doctor’s files. Check with your Elder Law Attorney about your documents being accepted in Florida and whether any additional documentation may be required.

Falling for Florida

Hospital and Rehab Centers in Broward, Palm Beach and other counties seem to fill up in the winter. For Snowbirds, this is not their primary home so even though they come yearly, some things may be unfamiliar. This can be in the neighborhood and on the roads. Lots of new construction can cause accidents or falls which may result in broken bones. For folks with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia, the first few days may be more difficult as your winter home may require an adjustment period. For elders or aging adults who may have Parkkinson diseasse or other balance issues, there ought to be grab bars and a shower chair in your Florida home as it is up north.  People are swimming more or at the beach and by the pool, wearing less than sturdy footwear, which also contributes to fall risks. It is harder when such things happen since you are not in your regular environment with doctors, facilities, neighbors and family nearby. Like everything else, planning is key. You may think of your winter months as an extended trip. Surely travel includes a lot of extra planning of medications, paperwork and reviewing new areas. Keep your Florida stay fun and safe.  Learn about new technologies which go beyone fall detection to prevention.