State launches dashboard for long-term care generator status

FLORIDA — Making sure all long-term care facilities have a generator, especially ahead of hurricane season, is key to resident safety and also a requirement by the state. You’ll be able to check if your loved one’s facility complies by using a new database now available to the public. 

What You Need To Know

  • The state has launched a database showing the generator status of all long-term care facilities
  • Generators are now required at all long-term care facilities
  • The database is available to the public
  • More than a dozen people died at a South Florida facility that lost power during Hurricane Irma

According to Dr. Lindsay Peterson with USF’s School of Aging Studies, the health consequences can be dire for vulnerable nursing home residents.

“They are so disruptive that people who are fragile have a greater chance of dying 30 and even up to 90 days after the storm,” Peterson said.

We first talked to Peterson about this back in October, after a study conducted by USF and Brown University revealed nursing home deaths were underreported by the federal government following Hurricane Irma.

Among the deaths looked at by researchers included the more than a dozen people who died at the Hollywood Hills nursing home in South Florida after the facility lost power. Following that incident, the state made it a requirement that all long-term care facilities have generators and emergency power plans. 

The Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA), which regulates long-term care facilities throughout the state, launched its generator status dashboard just this week, which will allow the public to see which facilities are complying with the generator requirement. While no one from AHCA would speak directly with Spectrum Bay News 9, the agency did send out a news release, which included a statement from AHCA Secretary Simone Marstiller.

“As the 2021 Hurricane Season approaches, ensuring the safety and security of all Floridians, especially the most vulnerable citizens residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities, is extremely important to our Agency,” Marstiller said. “Families need assurance that the facilities responsible for caring for their loved ones have the resources needed to weather any potential storms. The Generator Status dashboard is a great tool for families and caregivers to evaluate long-term care facilities’ compliance for emergency preparation.”​

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