Nurse Describes Caring for Nursing Home Evacuees during Hurricane Sandy
May 22, 2015 | Aging Services Risk Management
"Collaboration, strong assessment skills, communication and continuous problem-solving" are critical to responding to an emergency and especially to caring for residents off-site when they have been evacuated from a skilled nursing facility or other aging services setting, according to the author of a May 13, 2015, Long-Term Living article. The author, part of a federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT), describes her experience caring for 28 nursing home residents evacuated to a New York college during Hurricane Sandy in October and November 2012. Among the challenges were accommodating the residents' most basic needs, such as toileting; restroom accommodations were farther away from the residents at the evacuation site than they would have been in their nursing home, and they were not optimal for older individuals. Volunteer escorts, who underwent background checks before being allowed to participate, were solicited from the community to accompany residents to and from the bathroom.