Irma caused a lot of suffering in Fl.,especially in Hollywood were 11 nursing home residents died because of administrative and regulatory failures. But problems in Florida’s long term care system go beyond disaster related failures to protect nursing home residents. As this op-ed shows Florida does not the capacity in place now to meet the long term care needs of its older residents .This lack of capacity will become ever more urgent in the future as the population of older Floridians grows at unprecedented rates over the next 2 decades.
Hurricane Irma cut a destructive path through Florida leaving many people with damaged homes and businesses and communities without essential infrastructure and services. One of the saddest, most heart wrenching, and perhaps avoidable, of all the terrible effects from Irma, was the death of 11 residents in a Hollywood nursing home and the suffering of over a hundred other residents. That these individuals suffered as a result of apparent negligence on the part of the facility’s operators seems probable and will ultimately be decided by regulators and the courts.