Assisted Living Facility Submits Corrective Plan After Dementia Patient Falls From Window

Forest Heights Senior Living Community has submitted a corrective plan to North Carolina officials after L’Wella Ervin, a 72-year-old dementia patient at the facility, fell to her death from a third floor window last year.  Ms. Ervin died from multiple fall-related injuries at Wake Forest Medical Center shortly after staff at the assisted living facility found her on the ground.

According to Jim Jones, a spokesman for the North Carolina Division of Health Service Regulation, the facility submitted a corrective plan after the officials investigated the incident and found multiple state and federal violations relating to patient care.

Corrective Plan After Dementia Patient Falls From WindowAccording to the assisted living facilities corrective plan:

  • Staff must check on all patients at least every two hours
  • Staff must know each patients specific care needs

In order to assure that the facility is correctly implementing is corrective care plan, regulators from the state will make unannounced visits to the facility.  Read more about this corrective care plan at a North Carolina Assisted Living Facility here.

Forest Heights Senior Living Community in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, is owned by Five Star Quality Care. Five Star is a healthcare and senior living services provider that operates independent and assisted living facilities, skilled nursing facilities, rehabilitation hospitals, institutional pharmacies and outpatient health rehabilitation clinics throughout 30 states.

Am I missing something?  Why doesn’t this corrective care plan implement special screens on on the windows to prevent similar incidents from occurring?  Similarly, shouldn’t this facility consider housing their dementia patients on the ground level of the building?

For more information on nursing homes in North Carolina look here. For laws related to North Carolina nursing homes, look here.


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