Most nursing home residents here in Georgia are given excellent care, care that their families would like to provide but may not be able to for one reason or another. In those rare instances where residents are mistreated, it is not only harmful to them but to the people who love them and who put their trust in the facility and its staff. There are even times where state agencies may have to intervene as inspectors did in one out-of-state death at a nursing home. Authorities claim that an 86-year-old woman’s death was a regrettable case of nursing home neglect.
The incident happened early in the fall of this year. Officials say that a female resident with dementia left what was supposed to be a secured floor of a nursing home. She ended up on a different floor and went into a walk-in freezer, where she was found dead around six hours later.
Reports say that there were multiple security failures that contributed to this tragedy. First, the report says that a nurse aide heard a door alarm when the patient left the area, but failed to check what may have triggered it before turning it off, thinking that another worker had caused it to go off. Second, inspectors say that a dietary worker should have locked the door to the kitchen before leaving that day, but that did not occur.
Investigators decided to fine the facility an undisclosed amount over the death. It also recommended certain corrective action be taken to prevent future incidents. The facility agreed to do so, but maintained that its protocols would keep most residents safe from harm.
Families who have lost a loved one due to nursing home neglect may feel as though they have nowhere to turn. However, there are several legal avenues they could pursue to hold responsible parties accountable for such tragedy. An attorney here in Georgia who understands this type of personal injury or wrongful death claim can represent families’ best interests and see that justice is done.