Less than half of assisted living communities in Texas have backup generators, according to a survey of long-term care homes conducted after the 2021 winter storms. I have.
The Texas Board of Health and Human Services conducted a voluntary survey of 2,025 assisted living communities and 1,217 nursing homes in the state in response to power outages caused by winter storm Uri that swept the state in 2021 . The survey results showed that 99% of nursing home respondents reported having a generator, compared with 47% in the assisted living community.
But it’s not all bad news
Diana Martinez, president and CEO of the Texas Assisted Living Association, said: McKnights Senior LivingHowever, while the survey showed that just under half of assisted living buildings have spare generator capacity, “more than half” of residents live in communities with spare generator capacity. It became clear that there is ”
“From the data generated by the survey, about 60% of the larger communities had backup generators,” says Martinez. “The larger community is where most of the assisted living residents of Texas live.”
Another important point is that assisted living communities located in areas most affected by a hurricane are likely to have backup generators.
“We know many of our members are looking for ways to increase their emergency power capacity,” Martinez said. “Unfortunately, cost and supply issues due to COVID-19 have put some of these plans on hold.”
Martinez also pointed out that the way states classify assisted living providers distorted the results. For example, a facility with a certified Alzheimer’s unit may have two licenses, which means some providers are counting her twice. The number of assisted living communities in the state is actually 1,649, representing a response rate close to 92% (compared to the state’s figure of 75%).
Since 1996, state law has required generators to be installed in new nursing homes and facilities relocated to new buildings, but not in assisted living communities. Starting in 2016, federal law similarly requires generators in new and replacement nursing homes.
According to state findings, most generators in nursing homes power emergency lighting and exit signs, fire alarm systems, emergency electrical outlets, refrigerators and freezers. Less than 60% of him in the community responded that generators are used for air conditioning or heating.
Additionally, 67% of welfare respondents indicated that the generator could provide heat to at least part of the facility during a power outage, and 63% indicated that the generator could cool at least part of the facility.
The answer depends on how much power your generator can provide. Of note, 111 welfare facilities and 66 nursing homes reported indefinite or continuous power as they were connected to the city’s natural gas pipes as emergency power sources. The report notes that gas line interruptions could leave these facilities without emergency power. Other respondents, who share grids with hospitals, said they have never lost power.
Most assisted living communities with generators report being able to provide power for 1-3 days.
The survey ran from September 2021 to March 2022. HHSC worked with the Texas Health Care Association, LeadingAge Texas, Texas Assisted Living Association, Texas Association of Residential Nursing Homes, and the Federation of Independent Nursing Homes to encourage member facilities to complete the survey. Approximately 75% of the care home community (92% according to TALA) and 94% of care homes participated in the survey.
law on the horizon
Texas Congressman Ed Thompson (R-Pearland) originally introduced a bill requiring generators in nursing homes and nursing homes. This action ultimately failed, and legislators opted for an investigation to better understand what backup power sources already existed. Thompson told KXAN that he plans to resubmit the bill this fall.
Thompson’s bill required long-term care facilities to have emergency generators and emergency evacuation systems to address temperature control. said.