All over the country, those who are housed in nursing homes are always at risk of dying or becoming very ill because the facility does not take proper precautions to help individuals who are most at risk.
Nursing homes can have issues with elderly patients dying if they are not equipped with generators or other emergency power sources that protect residents from the summer heat.
Power outages during hurricane season cause nursing homes to become dangerously hot
The hurricane season makes sick and elderly people in nursing homes more vulnerable than usually every year. The southeastern United States has consistently had problems with nursing homes losing power, and patients within the facility suffering in the heat due to a lack of air conditioning.
During and after Hurricane Katrina, a facility in Louisiana called Lafon Nursing Facility of the Holy Family lost power and 22 residents died. In 2017, a similar event happened in Hollywood, Florida after Hurricane Irma struck, causing twelve residents to die from suspected heatstroke. Three days without power caused some of the elderly people inside to have body temperatures at 104 degrees and above, which is when serious health problems can occur.
Even after these problems, air conditioning, backup power, and other important protective measures that would prevent similar tragedies are not nationally mandated. The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services that control some funding for nursing homes does have a general requirement for alternative sources of power, but this does not necessarily need to be for air conditioning, or a strong enough backup power source to keep the entire building running. One professor of aging studies from the University of South Florida said that regulations which are more specific could go a long way towards preventing deaths. A more specific regulation is much more likely to be followed than a general one, yet few governments have corrected the issue even though years have passed since the last major hurricane caused large scale nursing home power outages. Advocates have suggested that local governments should pass laws to regulate these issues, but few pieces of legislation have been seriously considered.
Dangerous situations that are related to improper treatment at a nursing home
Nursing homes routinely have issues with all kinds of neglect which results in those under their care getting very sick or dying. Some common problems are infections and contagious diseases, staff shortages which lead to patients being left alone for hours at a time, physical abuse by staff members or criminals who enter the facility illegally, and theft or scams that take money.
Talk to an attorney about a nursing home incident
There are nursing home abuse attorneys who can assist you in the Baton Rouge area. To get help from an attorney licensed in Louisiana, contact:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806