JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Folks all across the U.S. have been handed a one-two punch. From the flu to the whooping cough, emergency rooms and doctors offices have been jam-packed.
Here in Jacksonville, it's no different. But there's one group getting hit particularly hard: seniors.
90-percent of all flu-related deaths occur in those 65 years and up, according to the group Visiting Angels. So the group is stepping up to help the elderly fight back.
"We want to send our angels in to keep them there. We want to keep our clients at home as long as possible," said Staci Brewer.
They're called the Visiting Angels. Its mission is to help the area elderly with cleaning to cooking to personal care. But lately, the job has been extra tough. The flu is taking a big toll on clients and caregivers.
"This has probably been the worst epidemic that I've seen in a very long time," Brewer said.
Staffing Manager Brewer says prevention is key, so they came up with a solution -- flu kits.
The group is stuffing buckets with all the essentials: hand sanitizer, Lysol, even rubber gloves. Anything their elderly clients will need to stay one step ahead of the FLU. Because once it hits them, Brewer says it can be difficult to overcome. It can even become fatal.
"Of course they're older, their immune systems are down so the flu can spread quicker to bigger things like pneumonia, bronchitis and once they're in the bed it takes them a long time to get back up from the bed."
Brewer says they're putting kits together for the caregivers too -- and says anyone tasked with taking care of the older members of the community needs to remember their health is just as important.
"Our goal as a company is of course to protect the seniors in the community and, even if we are not inside their home, we just want everyone to be well."
She also recommends the elderly get a flu shot as an extra precaution.Visiting Angels
will provide a kit to any senior in the community that needs one. Call (904) 302-7560
to request one.