A new article from the Star Tribune shows that the Golden Nest assisted-living of Minneapolis neglected a resident causing her death.
According to the Article:
Golden Nest assisted-living “failed to properly assess the client’s needs, failed to properly secure an exterior door lock, and [a] staff member failed to properly secure an interior door lock,” allowing Melcher’s unauthorized departure, according to the state Health Department’s findings released this week by the agency’s Office of Health Facilities Complaints (OHFC). “The facility was not equipped to provide a secured environment for a client with dementia,” the report’s findings continued. Therefore, Melcher went outside “in inclement weather, and the facility did not immediately identify that the client was missing and did not promptly contact emergency services once the client’s absence was discovered.” Video surveillance on the property showed Melcher leaving through the lobby “without outdoor clothing” or her cane, the investigative report read. She was located in an area a police report described as “treacherous,” dark and near train tracks While there was barely any wind and no snowfall that day, the temperature was slightly above freezing when she walked away and in the low to mid-20s by the time she was found.Video surveillance showed Melcher leaving the property about 2:40 p.m., the state report read. Two hours later, a nurse noticed Melcher was missing and wanted to call 911. However, the nurse was told to wait while staff looked for Melcher. The 911 call was made at 5:40 p.m., three hours after Melcher left. The Health Department ordered Golden Nest assisted-living to make the necessary corrections to ensure that such a lapse is not repeated.
The story about Golden Nest assisted living has been covered by other media outlets as well. Minneapolis WCCO, provided the following regarding the neglect:
It wasn’t until two hours after staff had realized the patient was missing that they notified authorities and filed a missing person report. The patient was found by family in a snow bank at 11 p.m.–almost eight hours after staff first noticed she was missing.
The patient later died in the hospital due to complications of hypothermia.
In an interview with investigators, nursing staff said the patient repeatedly said she “wanted to go home,” but that staff never thought the patient would be “an elopement risk.”
KTSP uncovered the following:
The woman had been in the facility for six days prior to her disappearance, and investigators learned she arrived without a care plan and missing health or medical paperwork. However, four days after her arrival, the facility learned she was on medications and had dementia, the report states.
The Health Department’s finding about Golden Nest assisted-living is available on its website. The Health Department conducted its analysis under the State Statutes for Home Care Providers (Minn. Stat. 144A.43 et seq.), the State Statutes for Vulnerable Adults Acts (Minn. Stat. 626.557, et seq.) and State Licensing Chapters 144 and 144A. Golden Nest assisted-living is required to provide care to residents that complies with Minnesota law. It’s ability to provide assisted-living care is dependent on its license with the Minnesota Department of Health. That means that if Golden Nest assisted-living does not meet the regulations and requirements set forth by the Minnesota licensing agency, it can be fined or even shut down.
Under its license, Golden Nest assisted-living is prohibited from abusing or neglecting its residents. Those terms are defined in Minnesota law. Abuse several ways under the law, but most generally, it can be defined as “Conduct which is not an accident or therapeutic conduct as defined in this section, which produces or could reasonably be expected to produce physical pain or injury or emotional distress including.” Minn. Stat. 626.5572, subd. 2(b). Golden Nest assisted-living is also prohibited from neglecting its residents. Neglect is also defined under Minnesota statutes: “the failure or omission by a caregiver to supply a vulnerable adult with care or services.” Minn. Stat. 626.5572, subd. 17.
This is not the first time that Golden Nest assisted-living has been found to have abused or neglected is residents causing their deaths. On January 17, 2018, the Minnesota Department of Health concluded that Golden Nest assisted-living neglected a resident “when facility staff failed to provide emergency medical services after the client fell. It is alleged that the client laid on the floor for four hours after the fall. The client was sent to the hospital two days later and admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with a neck fracture and brain hemorrhage.” The Minnesota Department of Health concluded that the facility was in fact responsible for the neglect of the resident because “The facility had no system to ensure falls, incidents, or changes in condition were immediately reported to the nurse. Facility staff was unaware of facility policy or procedure to contact a nurse or emergency medical services following a client fall or change in condition.” The state’s report is available here.
The Kosieradzki Smith Law Firm specializes in cases involving vulnerable adults being allowed to leave from safe facilities. Recently, in a case handled by Attorney Andrew D. Gross, a Court concluded that an assisted living facility was legally responsible for the death of one of its residents that had eloped from its facility. The judge ruled as a matter of law that the assisted-living facility was responsible for the death. In that case, the resident suffering from dementia was able to leaved the assisted living facility, and was not discovered until more than six months later, when her “mummified” body was found caught in a chain-link fence
Unfortunately, these problems occur all too often at facilities like Golden Nest assisted-living. Our attorneys, like Andrew D. Gross, fight for families of vulnerable adults who have not been provided adequate care. We fight aggressively to protect the rights of the elderly and vulnerable adults. If you family member was injured or killed due to assisted-living abuse or neglect, you need to take action today. Please contact our firm at (763) 225-2695 to set up a free review of your claim. We represent victims in Minneapolis, St, Paul and throughout the state of Minnesota.
We have more information about wandering and elopement that you can find by following this link:
Wandering and elopement are both especially common among seniors with dementia. It is estimated that as many as 70 percent of elderly Americans with dementia have wandered at least once. Up to 31 percent of nursing home residents have wandered.
Both wandering and elopement can be dangerous, but elopement is especially serious because it often leads to death. Many nursing home residents who attempt to elope don’t just simply walk out of the nursing home. They use motorized wheelchairs and are often mistaken as guests. They then exit the facility without permission or supervision. Sometimes a staff member finds them before they injure themselves. In some cases, though, they cross a street or stay outside in inclement weather. By the time they are found, it is too late.