Investigations have been re-launched into the actions taken by two Texas nursing homes last year in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
Those initial investigations into two Port Arthur, TX, nursing homes were halted by the state in April, with the facilities still shuttered in the wake of the storm. But Texas has now reinitiated its investigation following inquiries from the Dallas Morning News.
A spokeswoman for the Texas Health & Human Services Commission declined to tell the newspaper why 28 complaints against the two homes — Cypress Glen and Lake Arthur Place, both owned by Dallas-based Senior Care Centers — are back in regulators’ crosshairs.
Family members of the 184 residents at the two homes said they are still waiting for answers on why evacuations didn’t happen faster. Last year, many pursued legal action against the Lake Arthur Place administrator.
“They are responsible,” Peggy Bailey, whose husband lived in Lake Arthur Place, and died two months after the storm from pneumonia, told the Dallas Morning News. “Because of the people sitting in that water and the backing up of the commodes, they should have gotten the people out of there. All that was just in the water and they were just sitting in it.”
Senior Care Centers told the newspaper in a statement that all of its facilities have disaster plans, and that it is dedicated to the safety of residents and employees.
“The procedures for safely evacuating patients and residents are matters of medical judgment and must include balancing the well-documented risks of evacuating skilled nursing and long-term care residents versus sheltering in place,” the company said. “The population we serve is fragile, and providing care during any emergent situation is of utmost importance at all times — not just during a natural disaster. We remain tirelessly committed to the patients and residents we serve.”