Nursing homes and assisted living facilities now will be required to have a backup power source capable of keeping residents cool during power outages — part of the state’s efforts to prevent the elderly from dying in sweltering heat after hurricanes.
A report by the Florida House’s Select Committee on Hurricane Response and Preparedness includes recommendations on how to improve emergency management plans from nursing homes and assisted living facilities. But the recommendations are thin on oversight that would make sure those plans are better verified.
Following the deaths of 14 residents at a Hollywood nursing home, U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson plans to draft legislation designating an official in each state to oversee nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson organized a Congressional Field Hearing Thursday at Miami Dade College’s North Campus to hear ideas for possible changes to nursing home regulations.
Even though Albertina Vega is dead and the sweltering nursing home where she died is shut down, the facility still billed her on what would have been her 100th birthday.
After the shocking deaths last month in the sweltering Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, Gov. Rick Scott announced an emergency requirement that all nursing homes install back-up power generators within 60 days…but on Thursday, his administration announced there might be some wiggle room, saying that in “extreme circumstances” waivers may be granted.
Florida lawmakers are promising to shore up nursing laws to prevent another Hurricane Irma tragedy, but recent history shows that well-intentioned legislative fixes to safeguard residents often fall short of their intended goal.
The air conditioning was not working in the summer heat and some residents of a nursing home adjacent to a hospital in Florida lost their lives. Five died with body temperatures ranging from 103 to 106.4 degrees. This, however, was not the Hollywood nursing home in 2017.
Many of America’s roughly 15,600 nursing homes are unprepared for disasters like Hurricane Irma, which recently killed 11 elderly patients in South Florida after the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills lost power. “This could have happened anywhere…”
“Somewhere in between, the misery of a nursing home teetering toward tragedy was reported to every official channel, but no attempt was made to transfer the residents to a safer place, or even to the air-conditioned hospital practically next door.“