Care facilities on 'priority list' still waiting for power to be restored

Alex Foox
Alex Foox

By Andrew Douglas, WMC-TV Memphis
Posted by Charles Gazaway - email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Five days without power has led to some pretty frustrated calls into the WAVE 3 newsroom. Some of the most disturbing involve care facilities, especially nursing homes. After concerned families called, reporter Andrew Douglas called LG&E and the city to find out what's being done to get power restored to those facilities.

Nursing homes are supposed to be on the priority list to get power back on. But WAVE 3 found some nursing homes still doing without - making a tough situation even tougher.

Nursing home care can be some of the most challenging in the health care industry and that's when the power is on. When it's off - and off for five days - the problems begin to pile up.

"It is smelly inside, it's hot inside," said Alex Foox. "It's uncomfortable for the residents and very difficult for the workers to do their job."

Foox's 79-year-old father has been at Hurstbourne Care Center for about 18 months. But now Foox is frustrated because it appears to him that his dad's home has been forgotten by power crews.

"It's tough for him," Foox said. "It is tough - he doesn't understand what is going on, but he understands that things are not normal."

What is normal right now is no hot water, no air conditioning, open windows, no television, few working lights and the buzzing sound of a generator. Nursing home administrators say each facility is required to have a generator and an emergency plan ready to go in these types of onditions.

"You cannot expect a generator to provide full power that is needed for a nursing home where you have weak, older, sick people," Foox said.

An LG&E spokesperson told WAVE 3 Thursday that a handful of nursing homes remain without power, but specific power crews have been assigned to each. The utility insists that nursing homes are on the priority list, but they were unclear exactly how many were without power or when it would be restored.

In the meantime, Foox can see the football lights on at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium while his father remains without the basics.

"He hasn't been shaved for several days, he cannot get his shower," Foox said.

Staff at Hurstbourne Care Center would not comment on camera and we were not allowed inside the home. Despite the lack of power for five days, family members of residents at Hurstbourne Care Center say the staff has been doing a great job taking care of their loved ones.