Lack of Proper HVAC considered Elder Abuse

Back in 2017, our state was ravaged by yet another hurricane.

It is true that hurricanes are commonplace in this area, and a lot of people consider them just another part of life.

But because of the devastation they can cause, we are starting to have more laws and regulations to protect vulnerable populations. In 2017, two nursing homes in the southern part of the state were operating without backup power supplies. After the hurricane, power was out for weeks. The air conditioning wasn’t working, obviously, and the thermostat temperatures soared in those nursing homes. The city utility company didn’t give preferential treatment to nursing homes, only hospitals. The thermostats kept reading higher and higher, and nobody seemed to do anything. Whether they didn’t care or were just ignorant is unknown. What is known is that without proper HVAC, people in our state can die. That is precisely what happened. Because the air conditioning never got turned back on in a timely manner, the place got stiflingly hot. Old people who were unable to ask for help from outsiders suffered terribly from heat that could have been controlled with working a/c, and indeed, twelve people died. Vowing to never let that happen again, the people turned to lawmakers. In turn lawmakers have made new laws. All nursing homes must have adequate measures in place to ensure the people in their care have adequate heating and cooling. To not do so, to run a facility without working HVAC, is now considered elder abuse. My mother had already passed by the time this happened, but she had been in a nursing home for several years, and I often think of her when I hear these stories. I am glad they must take every measure to ensure residents have a/c and heating.

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