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Senator Rick Scott visits Naples to talk ongoing issues with seniors

Health care, housing and mental health top of mind
Posted at 5:44 PM, Feb 02, 2024

U.S. Senator Rick Scott was at the Collier Senior Center in Naples on Friday for a sit down with community leaders to discuss the issues impacting seniors in Collier County since hurricane Ian.

The event, titled "Fighting for Our Seniors," brought together numerous non-profits and social service groups, including St. Matthews House and Warrior Homes of Collier. Among the concerns raised by these groups were housing costs and the lack of affordable housing in the county.

Acknowledging the problem, Senator Scott stated, "The real issue has become the cost of land. The land cost has gone up significantly."

He added, "It's going to take charities helping, local governments helping."

Discussions also covered community concerns about healthcare, social security, and support for veterans. Senator Scott emphasized the importance of repurposing existing funds rather than creating new programs as a solution.

"I'll work on any of these issues, but the best approach is repurposing money. It's already funded... It's not being used well," the senator stated.

Senior mental health emerged as a prominent issue during the round table. Attendees who spoke to Fox 4 expressed urgency about the growing epidemic of loneliness among seniors.

Furthermore, a recent U.S. Senate report revealed a shocking rise in overdose cases among senior citizens, with deaths quadrupling over the past two decades.

"We can't let people get isolated... They've got to be part of something. Everybody needs to be part of something, whether it's their job - or. Everybody's got to have a purpose," Senator Scott said.

Senator Scott serves on the Senate Special Committee on Aging and has held similar roundtable sessions in different communities around the state, according to a spokesman.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau 1 in 5 people in Florida are over the age of 65.