September 13, 2021

Many Nursing Home Residents Suffer through Hurricane Ida, Pandemic in Horrid Conditions

The Louisiana Department of Health has revoked the licenses of seven nursing homes that sent residents to a warehouse to shelter during Hurricane Ida, renewing concerns over the safety of long term care facilities.

Residents of the Louisiana nursing homes were laying on the floor, without access to bathroom facilities, on flat blowup mattresses. Nurses described unsafe and unsanitary conditions in the warehouse worsening as the air conditioner stopped working. Additionally, the 800-plus elderly residents were all in close contact, despite concerns about COVID. Seven of the residents who sheltered at the warehouse died.

At other nursing homes across the country, with the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus spreading and some nursing home employees expressing reluctance or refusing to get vaccinated, many facilities are again seeing a rise in infections. Each time a new case occurs among staffers or residents, federal guidance means nursing homes must immediately suspend visits. The Biden Administration recently announced that any long term care facility that receives Medicare or Medicaid funding must require its employees to be vaccinated.

“Nobody should ever have to live in the conditions that seniors experienced at that Louisiana warehouse,” said Joseph Peters, Jr., Secretary-Treasurer of the Alliance. “The federal and state government must protect Americans who need long term care, and provide more people with the option of receiving care at home.”

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