An 87-year-old woman froze to death after walking out of the secured Alzheimer’s unit at an Ohio nursing home. Dortha Gifford was a resident at the Heartland of Woodridge assisted living facility for the last five years. Gifford lived in the locked unit of the facility because of her propensity to wander. According to Gifford’s family, she had gotten out of the assisted living facility on other occasions.
Why do these tragic themes of missing nursing home residents continue to emerge across the country? Unfortunately, the answer is not singular. Nursing homes consistently break the trust families place in them when they fail to:
- 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.
If your loved one has escaped from a nursing home or assisted living facility, the facility is likely responsible. We have helped many families recover civil damages for the death or injury of their loved one. More importantly, many of the nursing home cases Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC prosecute have led to safety improvements at many facilities and help ensure the safety of new residents.
For laws related to Ohio nursing homes, look here.
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