Dallas-based Capital Senior Living said Wednesday that it is offering available space at its communities in the Lone Star State as well as communities in neighboring states to older adults who have been displaced by the Tropical Storm Harvey and need senior housing services.
“Our team has alerted first responders and is in touch with local senior living communities that may have limited options for their residents,” CEO Lawrence Cohen said in a statement. “As a Texas-based company, we need to do our part and help our neighbors.”
Earlier this week, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, M.D., declared public health emergencies in Texas and Louisiana. The department has posted information online to help communities respond and stay up to date. Media were reporting at least 31 deaths from the storm as of Wednesday.
Capital owns and operates 129 senior living communities around the country, including 32 in Texas. The company said it has ensured the safety of residents in its five Houston-area communities. No further details were available Wednesday.
The company has set up a dedicated hotline, (866) 774-9457, and said it also will provide transportation where possible.
Overall, 49 assisted living communities and 45 skilled nursing facilities in Texas had been evacuated as of Wednesday afternoon, American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living President and CEO Mark Parkinson said, sharing an update from the Texas Health Care Association.
“We see our centers and communities step up to help in times of need, making space for residents who need to be evacuated. I am grateful for each and every one of our members and the way we come together in times of need,” Parkinson said.
The THCA is setting up a fund to accept donations that will help facilities affected by Tropical Storm Harvey, he said. “In the meantime, please continue to keep the providers, their staff, the families, and everyone responding to this crisis in your thoughts.”
Away from the thick of the storm, Jefferson’s Ferry, a continuing care retirement community in South Setauket, NY, said it had donated $5,000 to the LeadingAge Hurricane Harvey Disaster Relief Fund.
“In the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Wilma and Sandy, the LeadingAge membership, including Jefferson’s Ferry, demonstrated its tremendous capacity for compassion,” said the CCRC’s president and CEO, Robert E. Caulfield. “The outpouring of concern and generosity on the part of members, staff, residents, trustees, businesses and friends garnered $1.3 million in donations and demonstrate the LeadingAge power of community. We are very fortunate to be part of such a caring community.”
Meanwhile, residents of Grace Lutheran Communities of Eau Claire, WI, collected clothes, flashlights and other supplies for the storm’s victims, according to WEAU 13 News.
“They are very excited about participating and any opportunity that they can give back to the community, they are extremely grateful for that,” Director of Housing Stephanie Brueggen told the television station.
Brueggen said a friend will deliver the items.
And in the Sunshine State, Florida Assisted Living Association CEO Shaddrick A. Haston told WFSU News that the now famous photo of La Vita Bella assisted living residents sitting in waist-high water inside their home in Dickinson, TX, may prompt Florida operators to evacuate even if told to shelter in place in the future, as La Bella Vita residents had been told.
Evacuations carry their own risks, however, he said. Traffic gridlock, lack of supplies and heatstroke are just three of them.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has posted information about safe practices after flooding and hurricanes.