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Tue Dec 19, 2017, 06:59 AM

Push for nursing home generators after Irma stalls

TALLAHASSEE – Three months after 13 elderly residents in a South Florida nursing home died because of sweltering conditions following Hurricane Irma, lawsuits and legislative inaction are holding up efforts aimed at preventing such deaths in the future.

Some lawmakers are skeptical of imposing a costly requirement to buy generators to maintain power during emergencies on the nursing home industry, meaning elderly patients could remain vulnerable to extended power outages when the 2018 hurricane season begins in June.

Sen. Gary Farmer, D-Lighthouse Point, filed SB 896 last month to require nursing homes be equipped with generators and to impose more oversight on them. He said the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills “serves as a wake-up call.” But his bill hasn’t come up for a hearing.

“These are supposed to be special needs and special nursing care facilities,” Farmer said. “They’re not supposed to be death warehouses.”

Read more: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/politics/political-pulse/os-nursing-home-generator-20171213-story.html

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