In 2004, Hurricane Ivan badly damaged the Richmond Home for the Elderly—the only one of its kind remaining in Grenada. In addition to geriatric patients, the Richmond Home houses handicapped and psychiatric patients that require constant medical care. Following Hurricane Ivan, one patient died and those in the female ward had to be relocated with the male patients, resulting in overcrowding. Although temporary repairs were made to the Richmond Home, a tropical depression that struck Grenada several months later blew off the plastic sheeting that had served as the temporary roof. Once again, temporary repairs were made, but these proved no match to Hurricane Emily, which hit Grenada in July 2005. Since then, an estimated 25 patients have died, primarily due to infections related to poor hygiene, lack of water and exposure to rain. Seventy-five patients remain in the Richmond Home.
Following Hurricane Emily, an engineering survey was conducted to identify the most urgent permanent repairs required, including appropriate mitigation measures to make the structure more resilient to future hurricanes. The governments of the U.S., Canada and Grenada contributed to this project and a check consultant was hired to supervise the repairs and ensure that mitigation measures were included. Repairs are underway to the roof of the main building and the buildings that house the matron and nurses’ quarters, the laundry facilities, electrical systems and other non-structural areas. The repairs should be completed by the start of the 2006 hurricane season.