Nursing home residents still evacuated

June 9, 2008 12:03:57 PM PDT
Action News has been monitoring developments after elderly residents were evacuated from a Delaware County nursing home that had air conditioning problems.

Ambulances began arriving at the Haverford Nursing and Rehab Center to pick up and remove elderly patients from what was described as "oven-like" conditions on the 2nd floor Sunday, when the temperatures outside hit 95 degrees.

Police found unsafe conditions and ordered the evacuation.

Action News has not yet had a response from the management of the facility about the conditions inside. However, the Action News crew at the entrance of the nursing home has seen air conditioning repair teams coming and leaving the facility all morning long.

There also has been no word from officials about any fines or penalties being leveled against the nursing care home.

Susan Kane, a relative of one of the patients, told Action News on Sunday that, "You've got elderly patients up there who are just hanging on wheelchairs. You've got patients up there who are sweating, wiping their brow - wiping their mouth."

Kane contacted Action News after visiting her elderly mother. Kane found no air conditioning in a section of the second floor. She sent us pictures including the thermostat which tracked the temperature in the room at well above 80 degrees.

"When I went into the room she was red," Kane told Action News.

Jackie Martin of Havertown went in to visit a 90-year-old member of her church. "He's lying up there in his gown and is very warm, it's very hot up there," said Martin.

Action News attempted to ask a supervisor what they were doing about the conditions on the 2nd floor. Suma Matthew, the supervisor at the center, told Action News, "We have fans in all the corners. He have fans in residents' room."

"They have fans, hot air blowing on the patients," said Kane.

When Action News asked an employee to contact an administrator so that we could get a statement, they in turn called the police to have our crew arrested for causing a disturbance. The police went upstairs and found the conditions so unbearable, they contacted the fire marshal to determine if the place should be shut down.

Officials ordered ambulances to remove 29 elderly patients to other facilities. Kane's mom was moved downstairs to a room with air conditioning.