Monday, April 16, 2012

Nursing homes unprepared for major disasters

The Washington Post (Monday, April 16, 2012, p. A11 on the Fed Page, p. A11) and the Associated Press are running a story by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar about the lack of preparedness of nursing homes for natural disaster, particularly in disaster-prone gulf states, link here

The Department of Health and Human Services will release a report April 16, based on detailed examinations of 24 facilities.

Preparedness issues would obviously affect families, which might have to take back residents from damaged facilities or even in anticipation of disaster.

During Hurricane Katrina in 2005, 35 residents of the St. Rita’s home near New Orleans drowned in their beds.  The AP reports on damage to a nursing home in the Dallas suburbs during a recent torando outbreak (link) and at least one resident had major injuries. 

A large portion of nursing home residents today are female and over 80.

There is a comprehensive report on nursing home demographics back in 2008, at “The Rubins”.    Over 40% of those over 65 today may spend some time on a nursing home during their remaining years. 

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