Nursing home death shines light on all too common tragedies


The nursing home death of an American woman in a neighboring cold-weather state may have caught the attention of Pennsylvanians. The incredibly tragic and preventable nature of her death has brought the story to national headlines and once again brings attention to the very real threats that individuals can face when they enter nursing and residential homes that fail to protect their health and safety.

The 76-year-old victim suffered from dementia and had, in the past, wandered from her nursing home location. The day she went missing she even told staff members at her facility that she was going to leave and go home. Despite wearing a monitor that should have alerted staff members of her absence, the woman was able to leave the facility unnoticed.

After eight hours the woman was found dead outside, a victim of hypothermia. An investigation into the matter also found that staff members logged that they had done night checks of the residents even though several admitted that they did not actually perform those important security measures.

This nursing home failed the victim on many levels, from failing to monitor her through staff checks and equipping her with a proper monitoring device to ignoring her comments that she intended to leave. Her life is now over because of these egregious oversights. She likely leaves behind family members who are struggling to understand how such an incredible oversight could have occurred. It is possible that her loved ones and the executor of her estate may seek to sue the nursing home facility for its extreme negligence.

Source: USA Today, "Woman was outside nursing home 8 hours before dying in cold," John Seewer, Jan. 24, 2018

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