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Patient froze to death in case of alleged nursing home neglect

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2021 | nursing home abuse and neglect

People live in Georgia nursing homes for a variety of reasons, but primarily it is because they are unable to fully care for themselves. They often have family who love them very deeply, but cannot provide that care, either, and thus turn to professionals for assistance. Some residents do not have full cognitive abilities, having conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s that make thorough care even more important. Sadly, the failure to provide that level of care can have disastrous results, as one family alleges after their loved one with dementia froze to death upon wandering away from his care home. Authorities say that the out-of-state case is a clear example of nursing home neglect.

According to the resident’s family, the man, age 56, left his nursing home one day in 2018. He wasn’t found for two days, having frozen to death due to frigid April weather overnight. Authorities say that his departure went undetected and charged one of the nursing home employees with forgery as well as gross patient neglect. She was originally charged with reckless homicide, but pleaded guilty to the reduced charges.

The forgery charge stems from the employee allegedly signing her name to records that claim she made her rounds in accordance with her duties. However, authorities say that if she had done that, the missing man would have been discovered much earlier. Officials admit that other people may be culpable in this man’s death, as the employee’s shift did not begin until three hours after the man left the facility, though they declined to explain why she was the only one charged.

The man’s family may have an option for holding other responsible parties accountable, even if the criminal justice system is unable. They could file a wrongful death claim due to nursing home neglect which could result in financial compensation. Here in Georgia, a personal injury attorney may be able to help a family in need in a similar situation.

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