Nursing Home Wandering Death Sheds Light on Serious Deficiencies Statewide

A nursing home is being scrutinized after an elderly female resident slipped out of the facility, unnoticed by staff.The elderly woman, who suffers from several medical problems and dementia, had left the facility on multiple occasions, according to a Medicare investigative report. The woman's previous elopements were resolved with her safe return.

On July 12, 2011, the Medicare report says that she did not return. With temperature above 100 degrees, the resident was missing for 3 ½ hours before workers ever began to look for her. The 57-year-old mother of three was found dead just outside the facility. Police reported that the woman's body temperature was 118 degrees. The patient's family has filed a lawsuit against the facility.

This sad elopement death has brought nursing home health and safety deficiencies into the spotlight. In the past year and a half, Medicare inspectors have found 2,594 deficiencies at nursing homes statewide. The deficiencies range from seemingly minor infractions, to violations that place residents in immediate jeopardy of substantial harm, such as physical abuse of patients, employing individuals with violent criminal backgrounds and failing to protect residents from fellow patients with aggressive behavior. 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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