The family of a 75-year-old dementia patient has recovered $821,000 in a recent wrongful death trial against the assisted living facility where she was a resident as well as the facilities parent companies. The lawsuit alleged that the facility was negligent in looking after the resident who had a history of wandering episodes. In this case, the resident wandered from the facility in 2007, yet her remains weren’t discovered for years.
Many patients with Alzheimer’s and dementia are prone to wander from the facilities— nursing homes, hospital and assisted living facilities where they reside. It is the responsibility of the facility to identify people who are prone to wander and implement plans of care to prevent these patients from harming themselves.
Despite the appearance these patients are unhappy with their living arrangements, it is crucial for staff at these facilities to make sure that these patients remain within the safety of the facility. If a facility can not safely accommodate the needs of the patient, they should suggest that the patient’s family locate a suitable living arrangement.
Ruling against Ore. care facility in woman’s death, The Columbian, October 5, 2010