I’m probably gonna get a letter for this cartoon.
This week, eight residents of a single Florida nursing home that had its power knocked out by Hurricane Irma died within hours of each other. Florida is not a place where you want to live without air conditioning, even if you’re young and healthy, and definitely not if you’re an elderly person.
People are rightly outraged and demanding investigations into the matter. Why didn’t the nursing home have a generator? Why weren’t the residents evacuated to the hospital right down the street, which did have air conditioning?
Florida Power & Light (FPL), along with the state government, identifies key facilities where it must keep the power running at all costs. On that list are hospitals, police and fire stations, communication facilities, water treatment plants, transportation providers, and shelters. Not on the list, nursing homes. There are over 200,000 nursing homes in Florida, a state where people go to retire. Can FPL cover that many facilities? Doubtful. Shouldn’t generators and other precautions be mandated by law for nursing homes?
People die in nursing homes. But, adult children don’t put their parents into nursing homes so the facility can kill them. Why didn’t the staff recognize the danger or monitor the residents? There must have been signs and symptoms that they were in danger. Our seniors deserve dignity, even in death.
Federal funds cover the majority of the nation’s nursing home costs. We need to consider additional costs for nursing homes in climates, such as Florida, that is actually dangerous to senior citizens.
Creative note: I had three ideas on three different subjects. Two of which were much more humorous than this cartoon (which I know isn’t saying a lot) and probably had decent potential to get a national reprint. If I wanted to shoot for the big reprint (and pay), then this morning was the deadline. Of course, I went and did the morbid cartoon.
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