98-Year-Old Woman Dies After Walking Out of Assisted Living Home
A 98-year-old resident of Meadow Lake Senior Living Center in Rochester Minn., died after wandering out of the facility in the freezing cold during the middle of the night.
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Officials for the assisted living facility reported that a nurse noticed that the woman was not in her apartment early Friday morning, Jan. 15.
Staff members then began searching for her and found her barefoot in the parking lot. Staff called 911, and the woman died on the way to the hospital.
The Executive Director for the facility expressed her deepest condolences for the tragedy. She stated that the woman had a very close family who visited her every day.
The director says that the facility has safeguards in place to keep strangers out of the facility, but residents are free to come and go as they please. The facility plans to review its procedures to determine what can be done to better ensure the safety of residents.
The Dangers of Wandering
All too often, especially during winter months, there are numerous reports of residents wandering into the freezing weather and dying from the elements.
Unfortunately, nursing homes and assisted living facilities have different levels of safeguards set in place to protect residents. As in the situation in Minnesota, the assisted living center allows residents to come and go as they please, leaving greater opportunity for residents to wander into poor weather conditions without anyone noticing.
Many people place their loved ones in nursing home and assisted living facilities so that they can receive full-time care and attention. When a facility fails in its duties to keep your loved one safe, it can be considered nursing home abuse or neglect. Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice has represented many families who have suffered as a result of nursing home negligence, including the family of an 85-year-old woman who froze to death in 2013 after being locked out of her assisted living facility.