In 2008 authorities from Florida regulatory agencies warned Homewood Residence, a Brookdale Senior Living facility, to secure areas of its kitchen and other areas of the facility that were accessible to residents with dementia.
The warning came after dangerous products such as: coffee pots, curling irons and chemical products were found unsecured at the facility.
Two years later– not much has changed at this Brookdale assisted living facility.
Authorities found similar problems during the investigation of the death of a 93-year-old resident at the facility. The elderly man was able to access the unsecured dishwasher and access the area where the detergent was stored and ingested it.
Eighteen hours later the man died from complications related to the chemical burns in his esophagus.
As a result of this incident, Brookdale has agreed to pay a $7,500 fine and re-implement guidelines regarding the storage of chemicals and cleaning products. Last year, Homewood Residence paid fines of $3,000 fine when 10 residents at the facility contracted norovirus and $1,500 following the development of bed sores on on resident.
Safety For Dementia Patients
Many dementia patients lack the ability to appreciate danger to themselves or the people in their surroundings. Making matters even more difficult is the fact that many dementia patients remain physically strong even as their mental faculties decline.
Consequently, nursing homes and assisted living facilities need to secure their facility as though they were caring for a toddler. All patient rooms and common areas should be evaluated on an ongoing basis to ensure that dangerous objects are removed.
Access to areas where patients need not access– kitchens, utility areas and laundry rooms should be secured to prevent dementia patients from accessing powerful machinery.