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Protect Elderly People in New Orleans Throughout Hurricane Season

Garcia & Artigliere

The appearance of Hurricane Barry signaled the beginning of hurricane season for the people of Louisiana. As your family prepares for the season by designating an evacuation route and stocking up on supplies, remember to add another item to your plan: Check on your elderly neighbors and do what you can to help in the event of an emergency.

Elderly people are especially vulnerable to injury and fatalities during a natural disaster. Medical needs and limited mobility make it difficult for many older adults to evacuate if needed. In nursing homes, a hurricane can be a logistical nightmare and an extreme safety risk for patients.

All of Louisiana’s nursing home facilities must create an individualized hurricane evacuation plan and submit it to the Department of Health. As every nursing home has its own patient needs and potential risks in the event of a hurricane, it is crucial for every facility to have a unique, detailed plan.

When hurricanes approach Louisiana, the state’s nursing homes struggle with keeping sufficient supplies of food, water, and healthcare items, as well as maintaining electricity via generator to power medical devices. Adequate transportation is another concern, if evacuation is deemed necessary. Nursing homes are not required to evacuate unless a mandatory order is announced. If evacuation is optional, elder care facilities must weigh the benefits and disadvantages of staying or leaving. Although remaining in place during a hurricane presents obvious risks, abandoning the medical infrastructure of a nursing home can be even more hazardous for some patients.

How Can I Assist Elderly People in my Neighborhood During a Hurricane?

If you have a family member who lives in a nursing home, check with the care providers to ask about their hurricane evacuation plan, and establish your own strategy for transporting them (if you are able to do so) in the event of a hurricane. If you can, try to work your elderly neighbors into your family’s hurricane plan.

To help out elderly people in your life with emergency preparedness, you can also:

  • Provide your contact information, and check in with them
  • Help them establish their own plan, if they are more independent
  • Reach out to their family members and friends
  • Assist with purchasing supplies
  • Contact the NOLA Special Needs Registry

Elderly people are one of the most vulnerable populations in the United States. Even outside of emergency situations, some older adults completely rely on others for care. This can put people who live in elder care facilities at risk for abusive and neglectful conditions. Contact Garcia & Artigliere if someone in your life was a victim of nursing home abuse and neglect — we are prepared to defend the rights of your loved ones.

Schedule a free consultation with our team of attorneys through our contact form or by calling (800) 328-2630.

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