Family Asks Questions About Nursing Home Elopement

The family of a wheelchair-bound 93-year-old nursing-home resident is still asking questions about how he managed to get outside in the middle of the night, and just how long he was there. Two employees at the nursing home were fired after the Jan. 10 incident in which authorities found the elderly man outside in sub-freezing temperatures.

The family however believes that two more employees, who worked the shift before he was discovered, should be fired, because he likely went missing while they were working. The nursing home has told the family that the man wheeled himself out of his room, down the hall, and outside on his own without being noticed. The family however said that the man is not physically capable of such.The man's health has rapidly declined since the incident and the family has moved him to another facility.

The nursing home’s administrator, dismissed the family's assertion that she should fire more employees, explaining the people they are claiming should be fired actually checked the man's room. She said that the nurses accounted for the man in his room at 10:00 p.m. and he was not found missing until the next shift, which begins at 11:00. the two employees of the 11:00 shift have been fired.

One family member is skeptical about whether a nurse saw her step-grandfather in bed, saying police told her he didn’t go to bed that night. They also told her the the man was outside for several hours. Police estimate the elderly man, discovered at 1 a.m., had been outdoors for up to four hours. Basing their claim on his body temperature, they say he could have been outdoors as early as 9 p.m. Since the incident the nursing home now keeps its doors locked overnight. 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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