In the face of emergencies, some people heed the advice of authorities to evacuate. Others prefer to remain where they are, protecting their home and assuming they will be able to ride out the storm or whatever situation is on the horizon. For some elderly individuals, whether they are in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or remain at home with the support of professional and experienced caregivers, evacuating may not seem practical.
Their physical abilities, health factors, and many other issues all go into determining whether or not they will listen to this advice and leave their home or facility. During Hurricane Irma, many Florida residents were encouraged to evacuate and some were told it was mandatory.
There were plenty of seniors across the spectrum who did not leave their home, either by choice or because of an inability to do so. The repercussions are still being felt today. Eight residents of a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida lost their lives when the generator at the facility failed and the temperatures soared after Hurricane Irma barreled through.
CNN reported in the news blog section, Eight nursing home residents die, from the main article, Hurricane Irma: Keys residents line up at checkpoint, written by Faith Karimi, Jason Hanna, and Steve Almasy:
“The fatalities should spur everyone to check up on senior citizens, who are among the most vulnerable to Florida’s stifling heat, exacerbated by power outages that might extend into next week, Hollywood Mayor Josh Levy said.
“I’m going to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place,” Gov. Rick Scott said. “… I am also asking available first responders to immediately check in with the health care facilities in their area to make sure nursing homes and assisted living facilities are able to keep their residents safe.”
These types of situations remind people of the value in leaving a potential weather related emergency or other devastating circumstance. For those who rely on in-home care support services, there really should be no excuse, but it all depends on the caregiver and whether or not that senior has adequate assistance to go where they need to go.
Local shelters are a great alternative. This could include a school or other government facility, but in many cases when somebody relies on home care aides, visiting nurses, or other support individuals at home, they will also require extensive assistance wherever they ride out the storm. That’s why careful and early planning is essential to help navigate these extreme situations in life.
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