Posted Oct 2017
Preventing Nursing Home Injuries – Today’s guest blog is by Edward Bernstein and Associates.The opinions expressed by the author in this and all guest blogs are not necessarily those of Carlos Brown Law
LAS VEGAS, Nevada. In the days after hurricane Irma, many were left without power. However, for vulnerable residents of a Hollywood nursing home, the loss of power was deadly. 100 residents had to be evacuated, several people had to be taken to the hospital, and eight died. In Florida, temperatures rose as high as 92 degrees. For the vulnerable residents of the nursing home, the temperatures also proved deadly.
The tragedy highlights some major vulnerabilities that residents of nursing homes face. Families often hear about cases of nursing home abuse and neglect, but they may not think to ask a nursing home about its emergency safety plan or disaster safety plan before signing a family member up for care. According to the New York Times, state and federal regulations require that nursing home residents be evacuated if temperatures rise and air conditioning isn’t available. However, if nursing homes don’t have a clear plan in place, residents can be left languishing for days.
In Florida, many areas currently remain without power, bringing attention to the vulnerable residents in nursing homes. Elderly individuals may also face unique challenges as the thermostat rises. Overwhelmed staff may not be able to keep sick residents properly hydrated. Others can also suffer breathing issues in hot conditions.
According to federal law, nursing homes must be able to maintain interior temperatures between 71 and 81 degrees, and staff must have food, water, and personnel to keep the home running, along with 72-hours’ worth of supplies for residents. In some cases, however, it has been found that some nursing homes didn’t have working generators.
According to ProPublica, it doesn’t always take a natural disaster for nursing home and adult home residents to die from the heat. One investigative reporter found that mentally ill individuals in New York were being housed in poorly-ventilated homes. In some cases, it was days before the dead residents were discovered. The investigation led to a federal court order requiring New York to move its residents to more appropriate homes. Initial glimpses into the living conditions of the mentally ill suggest that progress is slow and individuals still face inadequate housing conditions. Families took action in New York under a class action lawsuit.
When families put their loved ones in the care of a nursing home or adult home, they expect their loved one to get the care they need and deserve. Unfortunately, sometimes homes are not equipped to handle natural disasters or the unexpected. So, is your loved one’s nursing home prepared? If your loved one suffered an injury in a nursing home, consider speaking to the personal injury lawyers at Edward Bernstein & Associates in Las Vegas, Nevada. Our firm offers compassionate and caring guidance to families impacted by nursing home negligence, neglect, or abuse. Also, you may only have a limited amount of time to seek damages, take action, and raise awareness. Visit us at https://edbernstein.com to protect your rights and the rights of your loved ones.