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WASHINGTON - Ongoing controversy over the care of senior citizens during Hurricane Irma has triggered a call for a Congressional panel to study ways to provide better care and avoid deaths.
Reps. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami, on Monday introduced the “Protecting Seniors During Disasters Act,” to analyze how senior citizens and nursing home residents can be better cared for during natural disasters. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio introduced a companion bill in the Senate.
“The shocking reality of 11 gruesome deaths at a South Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma ripped through our area will spur many changes to procedures and regulations guiding these institutions and we hope that our bill will help to protect vulnerable seniors,” Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement. “The bill introduced by my friend and colleague, Lois, and me will mandate that we analyze how seniors can be better cared for during natural disasters and provide recommendations that can be implemented to help save lives. Our bill would ensure that proper disaster plans and responses would be in place for nursing homes.”