PALM HARBOR, F.L. -- With much of the Tampa Bay Area still without power, perhaps those hurting the most are in senior facilities.
10News Reporter Liz Crawford found two senior facilities, Grand Villa of Dunedin and Stratford Court of Palm Harbor, without power Wednesday morning. Both had lost power overnight Sunday when the hurricane rolled through.
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Stratford Court has 450 residents and offers just about everything to make a senior feel comfortable but for the last couple of days, it’s been the opposite. Without power, there's no lights, air conditioning, and limited access to the meals some residents are used to.
Linda Martin was bringing her 90-year-old father a fresh cup of coffee Wednesday morning. He'd been trapped in his room since the hurricane. Martin's dad lives on the fourth floor and without an elevator, she can’t get him down four flights of stairs.
We also met a dog walker, Kris Economos who was stopping by the facility to walk some of the residents' dogs and offer an alternative location for the pets to stay until power is restored at Stratford Court.
The executive director of Stratford Court sent 10News this statement:
Stratford Court of Palm Harbor is a Five Star Senior Living facility. We have a formal disaster plan that includes hurricane preparations. We have 450 residents that live in Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Skilled Nursing. We are fully staffed and caring for our residents with medical needs via generator power. We appreciate the hard work of medical and emergency personnel in house and in the community. We are looking forward to a return to electrical power for everyone’s comfort.
A spokesperson with Duke Energy said they do prioritize where crews restore power. Nursing homes (24/7 care) are on the same prioritization as hospitals, schools and critical facilities (law enforcement, traffic lights, lift stations). Nursing homes need to inform their Emergency Operations Centers (EOC) of their outages. We are working closely with the State EOC and local EOCs for identification and prioritization of critical facilities. However, assisted living facilities are different than nursing homes when it comes to priority. Assisted living facilities would be a higher priority and are typically a part of complex where there is also an affiliated nursing home. These facilities need to work with their EOCs to report their outages.