Going Southward, For My Heart is Full of Woe…

Good morning, ProviderNation.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama are scheduled to join mourners in Texas Thursday, nearly a week after a fertilizer plant explosion killed 14 and leveled a nearby nursing home.

But while the burials are underway, there are still a lot of folks who are in crisis. The West Rest Haven home was literally blown away by the explosion, and 140-some residents have been scattered to homes in the area.

“All of the residents got out with only the clothes on their backs,” Texas Health Care Association (THCA) big guy Tim Graves says.

One West Rest Haven resident died after a heart attack immediately following the explosion, Graves said. Blood donors are still needed, Graves added.

We’ve seen this movie before in countless disasters, though, with the stress of an evacuation literally killing vulnerable seniors.

The West Rest Haven residents weren’t given a choice, though. The town is still without power and water, and even when the city is ready for reopening, the owners of West Rest Haven are likely to face months of uncertainty as they juggle the demands of residents, families, regulators, and insurance executives.

The good news is you can still help. Those who wish to pitch in can call Alice Powell at the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, at (512) 438-4664. THCA is also running continuing updates at its site, www.txhca.org.

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