Just 20 days after entering the Golden Living Center, 71-year-old Dean Cole lost 20 pounds due to malnutrition and dehydration. According to Mark Wandersee of the Eldercare Rights Alliance, the nursing home staff is to blame for his rapid deterioration. “He wasn’t getting the care he needed for food and water,” said Wandersee.
A wrongful death lawsuit was filed against the nursing home alleging Cole’s dehydration caused kidney failure and brain damage and ultimately his death.
Notes in Cole’s medical chart verify that the Minnesota nursing home staff was aware he was not eating. The nursing home staff wrote:
- Resident picks at food
- Needed to be fed for supper
- Not eating well
- Resident refusing to eat
Despite the multiple notations of Cole’s inability to eat while unsupervised, his records indicate that he ate the majority of his meals when engaged in mealtime conversation with nurses. My guess is that this nursing home was seriously understaffed to care for residents such as Mr. Cole.