What Happened to the Nursing Home Residents at Hollywood Hills?
Everyone has heard about the destruction that Hurricane Irma has left in its wake by now. The entire Florida panhandle was hit hard by the tropical storm, leaving homes destroyed, roads flooded, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced. But why did eight nursing home residents at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills die soon after Irma hit, seemingly because there was no power? Authorities will not yet say if it is a case of elder abuse or neglect, but prominent elder abuse attorneys such as those from Garcia Law are waiting to see how this case develops. Many families of the deceased nursing home residents are angry that they were not told sooner of their relative’s passing. Additionally, there are questions as to why staff at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills did not ask for help sooner.
Why Weren’t the Patients Evacuated?
Before Hurricane Irma hit, it may have been safer to keep the elderly and disabled patients inside as travel could have been disruptive to their medical conditions. The problems started when the power failed at the Hollywood Hills facility, including the backup generator. It would have only been a few hours until temperatures became sweltering and it seems that staff did not act quickly enough to anticipate that the patients should have been evacuated. Currently, the nursing home is shut down and families are working on finding out some real answers.
Could This Tragedy Have Been Avoided?
Some people, including Florida officials, believe that eight nursing home patients in Broward County did not need to meet such an end. Very close in proximity to the nursing is a hospital, which had working power the entire time. Staff at the nursing home had to know that they had other options, and at the first sign of stress to patients, they should have looked for better solutions. In short, there’s no good reason that nursing home patients in an area receiving Hurricane Irma relief efforts should have silently suffered, leading to the deaths of eight people.
How Can the Families Get Real Answers?
Right now, Florida authorities have launched a full investigation to find out why so many residents of the Hurricane Irma impacted nursing home died because of an apparent lack of air conditioning. The best news yet is that the facility is no longer in operation until answers are given. This means that no more patients will have their health compromised and the families of the victims can quietly grieve. Ultimately, families of the deceased nursing home patients may want to meet with attorneys and begin civil proceedings. The state may also take action if it is found that criminal misconduct took place.
Putting your parent or loved one in a nursing home is an act of faith and love. People look to nursing homes to provide the elderly and disabled with a level of care that they are not capable of providing themselves. They also have to have faith that their loved ones will be okay in a relative stranger’s hands.