Man Dies at Assisted Living Facility After Wandering Outside

Earlier this week, an 87-year-old assisted living facility resident died when he strayed away from his assisted living home. The man, who suffered from alzheimers, went outside the facility at 2:30 a.m. into three degree weather wearing only a t-shirt and underwear. He strolled around the backyard for a while before he fell on the ground. The overnight aide found him about a half hour later.

The facilities administrator said, "She went out the patio door and saw the resident lying on the sidewalk about 15 feet from the door"

The aide has worked at the home on and off for nine years. When she found the resident, he had a cut on his head. She should have called 911, but instead she put the man back in bed.

About an hour passed before she checked on the man again. This time, the resident was unresponsive. At that point, more than an hour and a half after the man was first outside, the aide decided to call the facility's owners and 911.

The coroner ruled that the man's death was accidental. He had apparently been out in the cold for too long. The assisted living facility is not a locked facility, and its residents can come and go as they please.

Even though the resident's death was ruled accidental, the County Sheriff's Department is conducting an investigation and so is the assisted living home. The aide who did not call 911 immediately has been put on unpaid leave. 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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