An 87-year-old nursing home resident recently died from injuries sustained in a hit and run auto accident that occurred Friday night. Several people in the area made 911 calls to the local police department that a car versus pedestrian crash occurred in front of the the Good Samaritan Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center where the woman was a resident.
The woman’s family claimed they recently convinced her to check into the nursing home due to declining health. Nonetheless, her family believes her unhappiness at the facility lead her escape attempt. “She was unhappy being in the nursing home. I think she planned her escape well and anticipated going home,” said her daughter Linda Meldrum.
While the circumstances leading to the woman’s escape and death are under investigation, the woman’s daughter points to under staffing as the predominate cause. “There was a security door in her room that she was able to disable at 87-years-old They appear to be very short staffed at night. We were told there was a loud alarm going off but no one went looking to see what was going on”
The Good Samaritan Nursing facility released the following statement regarding the incident:
An unfortunate incident has taken place in which one of our residents was struck by an unidentified vehicle on Detroit Road during the evening of March 13, 2009. This was a “hit and run” incident where the driver left the scene. Good Samaritan urges anyone with any information regarding this incident to immediately report it to the Avon Police Department at 440-934-1234. Out of respect for the privacy of the resident and their family, we cannot share any further information, other than to note that all of the other residents of our health care center are safe. Good Samaritan appreciates the well-wishes and condolences of the community and hopes that the driver involved in this incident will be found quickly.
Nursing Home Residents Who Elope
Nursing homes have a duty to protect their residents not just from harm from outside sources, but also from themselves. In order to minimize the risk of residents eloping, facilities should take the following precautions:
- Install technology updates (such as automatic locks and alarms) to their facilities that to help contain residents with a propensity to wander.
- Train staff to identify residents who are likely to wander from the facility and how to search for missing residents.
- Provide adequate staffing levels to look after residents. Many of the wandering incidents occur during ‘off’ hours when the facility is minimally staffed.
- Establish plans to help look for missing residents
For laws related to Ohio nursing homes, look here.