Brookdale Assisted Living Facility Fails To Learn From Mistakes: Dementia Patient Dies After Ingesting Detergent

poisoning.jpgIn 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.

Learn more about the laws applicable to Florida nursing homes here.
Click on the links for information on nursing homes in Miami, Orlando and Tampa


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2 responses to “Brookdale Assisted Living Facility Fails To Learn From Mistakes: Dementia Patient Dies After Ingesting Detergent”

  1. I’m deeply saddened that this happened… Most of us would entrust our parents to the care of an elder care facility thinking that they are safe in that place… Mistakes can happen but this must be seriously taken to avoid this mistakes can happen again…
    Thanks for the post, very informative…

  2. RA says:

    I lived in one of Brookdale’s homes in independent living. It was owned by Brookdale at the time. lt was okay at first but about 6 months after I moved in there were bed bugs all over the place and in my appartment and I was innudated with bites. Sometimes I had 3 inch welts on my arm. I finally found out what kind of bug I had. They sprayed the place, but the bugs came back. They had me take out half my clothes (which wasn’t much) and a bunch of things so they can heat treat it. I rented a small storage unit to put stuff in. (I had two storage units then, One from my house) I brought only two upholstered chairs when I moved in. I had to get rid of them. The person who helped me to pack the stuff for the treatment had a couch that she said had no bugs. After the heat, she asked the head of maintenance if she could bring in the couch. He said yes. The only things I took out of the storage unit from my house (no bugs in there) because I needed them. I got bugs again. They didn’t help me much, saying mingled things in with my house storage unit and said that I brought my couch and stuff back. I spent the rest of my time waking up at 4 am itching with new bites. I would search for all of the bugs. They came about every two weeks and sprayed but the bugs came back in a couple of days. They wanted me to move because they kept up the untruth about me bringing the bugs back. They took their time to reheat the apartment. In the meantime they told me that my roommate and I that we couldn’t eat in the diningroom. As they told me, it was a new rule for everybody, but I saw others with bugs and they ate in the lunch room. We had to eat our meals in our apartment on flimsy paper plates wrapped in plastic wrap and desserts jammed into styrofoam cups. I finally found a place to live, and in the month before I moved they heated the room and killed the bedbugs in my possessions.. The man came to move me and saw a bed bug. He refused to move use. They were wasting time redoing it sovit was into the next month before they did it and finally moved my possessions. I was already moved on the first of the month and didn’t get my stuff until the middle of the month. They charged me rent for those two and a half weeks, although I wasn’t living there. I tried to work things out until one day I received a letter that they sent the bill to collections. Also, when the bugs were biting me, the bugs bit my leg in a rectangular space about 2 inches by 4 inches many times. It was nothing but bites, I had that for a few months before I moved (I lived in that horror there for over a year because I couldn’t find a place to live. I have lived in the new place a little over a year and my leg now has cellulite which is a bacterial infection that could have been caused by the bed bugs. I have a serious anxiety disorder and it was extreme at this time. I was even suicidal.

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