BATON ROUGE, La. — The State of Louisiana has shut down 7 nursing homes that evacuated their residents to a warehouse in Independence, Louisiana to ride out Hurricane Ida. Six of those residents have since died and more were hospitalized after enduring conditions that workers inside described as intolerable, crowded and insufficient for people who needed a high level of care.
Approximately 850 residents, most of them elderly and infirmed, were in crowded conditions that the workers said ended up with the residents yelling, in tears and in conditions that included bags of human waste stacked in the corners of the facility.
The story, which was first broken by WWL-TV investigators, has led to State Health Officer Dr. Joseph Kanter ordering the immediate closure of the following nursing homes.
- River Palms Nursing and Rehab, Orleans Parish
- South Lafourche Nursing and Rehab, Lafourche Parish
- Maison Orleans Healthcare Center, Orleans Parish
- Park Place Healthcare Nursing Home, Jefferson Parish
- West Jefferson Health Care Center, Jefferson Parish
- Maison DeVille Nursing Home, Terrebonne Parish
- Maison DeVille Nursing Home of Harvey, Jefferson Parish
“What happened in Independence is reprehensible, and I know there are many families hurting as a result,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Courtney N. Phillips. “Today’s action against these facilities is needed. There is more to come. Our Department’s mission is to advance the health and wellbeing of our residents — and that includes our vulnerable nursing home residents.”
“The lack of regard for these vulnerable residents' wellbeing is an affront to human dignity. We have lost trust in these nursing homes to provide adequate care for their residents. We are taking immediate action today to protect public health,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter, Louisiana’s State Health Officer.
Upon hearing reports of deteriorating conditions at the facility after Hurricane Ida made landfall, LDH inspectors promptly visited the site but were expelled from the property and prevented from conducting a full assessment on Tuesday, August 31.