Some nursing home residents finally returning home after chaotic Ida evacuation; lawmakers hope new bill will prevent future tragedies


Hurricane Ida slammed into Southeast Louisiana nine months ago, and 7 nursing residences evacuated more than 800 citizens to a warehouse in Independence.

A lot of of them are nevertheless hoping to get their lives back collectively months later on, and people of these citizens are nonetheless outraged. 

Lawmakers hope a new monthly bill will guarantee that nursing houses are well prepared if a significant storm comes this way the moment once more. 

It is been almost just one calendar year considering that Arlene Matherne’s brother, Perry Burnett, was evacuated from his nursing household in Houma to a warehouse in Independence.

“It was truly just depressing for him,” she said. “One point he reported was, ‘I do not have absolutely nothing.’ All his minimal things that he treasured, tiny points that were being homey to him, were with him at the previous nursing house.”

Matherne was ultimately permitted to obtain what was still left of his possessions two months ago.

“There was genuinely nothing at all salvageable to take out of it,” she explained. “TVs were being molded, the beds were being stripped with rat feces on them. There was a picture I discovered that I obtained out for the reason that it was nonetheless in a Ziploc bag.”

She returned these issues to her brother a couple of weeks ago when he was ultimately moved to a treatment facility near to her.

 “I fought and fought to try out to get him closer,” Matherne mentioned.

Matherne is now nervous as a different hurricane season techniques.

“I are not able to get him with me,” she mentioned. “He’s received all these remedies, and he’s in a wheelchair.”

The legislature has about a month to alter policies and designs to check out to avert a similar tragedy from taking place once more.

The Louisiana Office of Health and fitness simply just evaluations nursing homes’ emergency options suitable now, but Rep. Candace Newell, D-Orleans, co-authored a bill that would change that system.

 “It’s heading to be the Office of Health and fitness that’s wanting more than these strategies and approving them,”
Newell said. “Previously, they reported they experienced a program, and it basically wasn’t a program.”

The objective of acceptance would be to check out to guarantee that all security and wellness steps are met when evacuating nursing home citizens.

The bill demands that all nursing homes submit an crisis approach to LDH by March 1 each and every 12 months. 

“If there is a prepare which is in area, and it is getting seemed at by the Division of Wellbeing, we know that where ever they are heading, they’re likely to be appropriately cared for,” Newell claimed.

Newell signed onto this monthly bill, which was at first authored by Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, since she thinks it’s critical to require a uniform crisis system and to take care of the susceptible users of the local community.

“We cannot lose sight of our elders, and we are not able to toss them away because with out them, we wouldn’t be wherever we are,” she mentioned.

The bill delivers a bit of aid to Matherne.

“I’m contemplating, if they appear as a result of it with a good tooth comb, they have the services, the supplies, the gear, every thing they want, and then, when things are protected, they come again house,” she stated.

But she does not assume the trauma from the incident to fade at any time soon.

“I’ll by no means ignore about it, and I’m confident he’ll hardly ever neglect about it,” Matherne claimed.

The invoice handed the Household 101-1. It was browse in the Senate and was referred to the Committee on Well being and Welfare.



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