Alzheimer's Patient Dies Along in Field After Wandering From "Secure" Assisted Living Faci

A 91-year-old grandfather was found dead in a Mooresville field Sunday night, eight hours after he wandered away from an assisted living facility.

Several investigations are being conducted, but officials at the facility said it appears that the man, who had the degenerative brain disease Alzheimer's, walked away during a Mother's Day event at the facility.

“There were a lot of children and visitors celebrating the day with their grandparents,” said the facility owner. He said there appeared to be no foul play.

The man was last seen alive at Summit Place around 1:45 p.m., a little less than eight hours before he was located in a field about 400 feet from the facility.

The man's family said Tuesday that they want to know how the man, who could barely walk and lived in a secure part of the facility, got away without anyone noticing. He'd lived there for more than two years.

“I'm at peace with the fact that my dad's in a better place, but I'm very upset with the circumstances around his death,” said his daughter. “My dad should have passed away in his bed, or in that facility. Not in the middle of a field, by himself, alone.”

She said she got a call from her sister Sunday night, asking if she had been up to see their father. Her sister said officials at Summit Place had called, saying a family member had signed the man out.

The daughter said that for the family, taking her father, who was unsteady on his feet and in advanced stages of Alzheimer's was, “out of the question. Most of the time, I go see daddy for my benefit and he just wanted to be in the bed all the time and sleep.”

The state department of health and human services plans to conduct an investigation after police conclude theirs. For more, read the story.


Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. 


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