No nursing home deaths reported in wake of Hurricane Ian

For the first time, nursing home residents are not numbered among the dead after Hurricane Ian, suggesting nursing homes facilities had effective emergency responses, according to an Oct. 13 article on AARP's website. 

Florida, among the states with the most nursing homes, is still assessing deaths related to Ian. However, not a single resident from approximately 700 facilities and 3,000 licensed assisted living facilities had been reported dead due to the hurricane or its aftermath.

"I haven't heard stories that have indicated any sort of negligence on the part of facilities," Jeff Johnson, AARP Florida’s state director, said in the article. "Instead, I've heard stories of the facilities really going above and beyond to try and secure their residents from harm. I say this deeply cautiously, because you never know what's going to come to light, but at this point, it looks as though [nursing homes] managed to get through this one relatively well."

Laws passed in 2018 requiring long-term care facilities to have comprehensive county-approved emergency management plans and an alternate power source onsite might have contributed to residents' safety. The laws were enacted after Hurricane Irma in 2017; that storm officially killed 129 people, but it was blamed for the deaths of roughly 400 nursing home residents after weeks of power outages, according to the article.

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