Is Your Loved One's Nursing Home Ready for an Emergency?
When a natural disaster or other emergency occurs, residents of nursing homes can be especially vulnerable. If the residents need to evacuate, they may not be able to do so on their own, especially if they are on the upper floors. When staff, who are supposed to help residents, fail to do their jobs, or when nursing homes do not properly plan for emergencies, the outcome can be tragic.
If you have a loved one who lives in a nursing home, there are some questions you can ask to find out if his or her nursing home is properly prepared for an emergency.
Ask About Emergency Plans
Nursing homes that are certified by Medicare or Medicaid are required to have written evacuation plans and to train all employees in emergency procedures. You should ask the nursing home’s management for a copy of their plans, including plans for evacuation in the case of fire or flood. Ask how they conduct their training. Also ask who is in charge of administering the plan in an emergency, who is the back-up, and what will happen if neither of those people are available.
Ask What the Nursing Home Will Do in a Power Outage
Power outages can be extremely dangerous for nursing home residents. Without electricity, residents can be trapped on high floors, medical equipment won’t work, and the lack of air conditioning can create deadly conditions. Ask management if they have a generator and also a back-up generator in case the first one fails. Ask also about food and water. There should be three days’ worth of food and at least a week’s worth of water.
Check to See if There Are Any Violations
You can contact your local Department of Health to find out if there have been any violations of the law in your loved one’s nursing home. You can also look online on the Medicare Nursing Home site to see how the nursing home was rated during inspections and if the home had any penalties.
A Nursing Home Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Loved One
If your loved one was harmed because a nursing home was negligent during an emergency, or if your loved one suffered from any other kind of abuse or neglect, a nursing home lawyer can help. Call Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 328-2630 to find out more.