Alzheimer’s Care Facility Fined For Sending Live Woman to Funeral Home in a Body Bag

Posted on behalf of Jeff Pitman on February 6, 2023 in Nursing Homes and Elder Rights
Updated on February 13, 2023

funeral-home exteriorAn Iowa care facility is facing a $10,000 fine after it sent a live resident to a funeral home in a body bag. State inspectors say the woman was a resident of the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center. Her health was declining, so she was placed in hospice care.

On January 3, an employee from the facility checked on the woman and found no pulse. The employee told state regulators that she believed the patient had passed, so she alerted a nurse who was on duty at the time. The nurse also checked the elderly woman’s vitals but found no pulse or sign of breathing, so she alerted the resident’s family, and a funeral home was contacted.

When the funeral home director arrived at the care facility, according to the state inspector’s report, the woman was placed in a body bag and taken to the funeral home. It was not until an hour later when the funeral home director unzipped the body bag to discover the woman alive and gasping for air.

According to the state inspector’s report, the elderly woman received emergency medical attention. After being stabilized, the woman was placed back in hospice at the Glen Oaks facility where she died two days later.

Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center is not classified as a skilled nursing home, so it is not subject to the same federal guidelines. However, the facility was penalized for failing to treat a resident with dignity and appropriate end-of-life care.

The woman had come to Glen Oaks one year earlier. She was diagnosed with end-stage, early onset dementia, depression and anxiety. Starting on December 28, 2022, she began receiving hospice care. There was also a do-not-resuscitate order.

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