Hurricane Irma Aftermath: 8 Dead at Hollywood Nursing Home

The devastating story that unfolded over a 12-hour period on Wednesday at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is a tragedy that has impacted eight families. According to the Sun-Sentinel, in the days following Hurricane Irma, eight elderly patients died after nursing home administrators failed to properly notify authorities of a potential crisis—rising temperatures occurring over several days inside the nursing home after power to the air-conditioning system failed to return.

The deceased—Albertina Vega, Carolyn Eatherly, Manuel Mario Mendieta, Gail Nova, Bobby Owens, Miguel Antonio Franco, Estella Hendricks, and Betty Hibbard—died between 2:55 a.m. and 3:09 p.m.

For the families and friends of the deceased, these deaths feel senseless. Gail Nova’s daughter in law, Stacy Nova, points out a fact that makes the deaths seem even more tragic: Memorial Regional Hospital stands within walking distance across the street from the nursing home.

“She was next door to an excellent hospital where she could be transported quickly if need be. The facility had a plan for the storm that was conveyed to us by the staff,” Stacy Nova told the Sun-Sentinel’s Stacy Huriash.

But what the facility said to family members is at odds with what actually happened.

Nova and others who survive those killed in the tragedy have learned a particularly tough lesson. While what happened is unacceptable and condemnable in every way, it highlights a common problem with care facilities. With so many patients to care for and so few staff and resources, sometimes lives fall through the cracks.

What We Can Learn from the Hurricane Irma Tragedy

Hurricane Irma has taught us a lot, but concerning the care of our loved ones, there’s one thing we should all take away—how important it is to find care that you can trust. Unlike large care facilities, home care services allow for more transparency in the care of your loved ones. Because home care services are a one-on-one endeavor, you can get to know who is watching mom or dad while you’re away. You can rest easy knowing that your family member won’t become just another face in the crowd.

In certain cases, home care services are even more economical than care facilities. Because they are completely customizable and can be tailored to your needs, you only pay for the help you need. And because the HHA or CNA comes to you for care, your loved one won’t have to spend any time in a stressful environment. That is an especially important thing to consider when thinking about how your family member would react to times of disaster like Hurricane Irma in an over-packed nursing facility.

Respite Care Relief

Now that the storm has passed, ask yourself: do I need help caring for my loved one? Granny Nannies of Miami offers Respite Care Relief services to family caregivers who need a break. While you’re cleaning up and getting back to business as usual, allow us to take some of the weight from your shoulders. With Granny Nannies to care for your family member, you’ll be able to get things back to normal while knowing that your loved one is in the care of a responsible care professional.

Get in touch with us by calling (305) 591-1818 today. We offer a free in home care consultation.