Eight Dead After a Florida Nursing Home Loses Power, the Laws in Place to Keep Seniors Safe

(WKRG) — The news shocked the nation and raised questions about what is required for nursing homes in the state of Florida.

In Florida, nursing homes are regulated by the Agency for Healthcare Administration.

The website does not say if nursing homes are required to have generators, but we were able to find out by law that they are required to have backup generators, but not a long term solution to high humidity and high temperatures.

“Something like Hurricane Irma comes through and leaves wide spread devastation, some of those individuals might not get electricity for weeks, you need a long term contingency plan for those individuals,” says Josh Newby Communications Director for The Council on Aging.

The Council on Aging provides in home care for over 2,200 seniors in the Florida panhandle. They have a long term generator on site, in case electricity isn’t available, and clients who come to the center can stay cool.

“We have here at council on aging a long term generator, and if the power goes out, for any reason, this generator will kick on and it actually is attached to the gas line underground,” says Newby.

The center got a grant for the long term generator, but it keeps seniors from becoming a casualty in storms like Irma.

“The heat can be literally deadly for seniors, individuals over 60, the medication that they are on, kind of inhibits them to regulate their internal temperature,” says Newby.

Which is what reportedly happened in Hollywood Florida.

For now, it is not clear if there will be upcoming legislation for nursing homes to have long term generators in Florida.

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