Woman Freezes to Death After Wandering from Assisted Living Facility
Police are investigating the death of a 91-year-old woman whose body was found in a ditch outside of her assisted living facility in Edgewood, New Mexico, in late December.
Wrongful death because of negligent nursing home or assisted living facility staff is a devastating tragedy. That is why our nursing home abuse lawyers are dedicated to fighting for the rights of the elderly. We can help you get the justice and compensation you deserve if your loved one has been the victim of neglect or abuse.
Authorities have reported that it appears as though she froze to death and died from the elements, though an autopsy report is still pending. Temperatures in the area had dropped below 12 degrees the night before.
According to police, the morning staff at Bee Hive Homes arrived at the facility and were unable to locate the woman. Her body was later located in a ditch about 100 yards away.
Police reported that it appeared as though the woman left the facility the night before and, for some reason, the staff did not check to make sure she was in her room.
No criminal charges have been filed against the facility, but a number of questions remain unanswered surrounding the incident.
The Dangers of Wandering and Elopement
Elderly patients in nursing homes and assisted living facilities often suffer from Alzheimers disease and dementia. It is not uncommon for these residents to wander and even leave a facility, often becoming confused or forgetting where they are.
Patients require attentive care to ensure their safety at all times. Unfortunately, weak standards and facilities that are stretched too thin place residents at risk.
Furthermore, assisted living facilities, unlike nursing homes, allow residents to remain independent decision-makers and to come and go as they please. This lax policy, however, can place residents in a dangerous situation.
Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice has represented many victims of elopement, including Delores Weisman who froze to death in 2013 after being locked out of her assisted living facility.
Despite video surveillance that showed her walking out of the building around midnight, the staff recorded her as asleep in her room at 2 a.m.
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