Last month, a Colorado assisted living facility made the news when it was learned that an 88-year-old resident had been allowed to wander away from the home without the knowledge of any of its staff. In fact, the elderly man managed to walk a shocking 8 miles away before he was eventually found by police.According to media reports, the man, who suffers from dementia, was reported missing from his Colorado nursing home on a Saturday afternoon. Police began a search for him, but it was not until about 3:00 the following morning that he was eventually located, 8 miles away. Although the man also suffers from diabetes and was without insulin for that long length of time, he did not suffer any serious injuries as a result of his long walk.The nursing home has not publicly commented on how the man managed to get out of the facility without the knowledge of nurses or staff or how long he had been missing by the time they noticed he was gone. It is also not known whether the facility will face any criminal or regulatory sanctions as a result of the incident.
In addition, it is possible that the man’s family will decide to file a lawsuit alleging nursing home neglect against the facility. Although the man did not suffer any major injuries, the fact that he was able to get out of the nursing home, undetected, surely indicates some major staffing, monitoring or other issues at the facility. Unfortunately, families of nursing home residents are often unaware of these and similar issues at their loved one’s facility.
Source: The Gazette, “Police find missing 88-year-old who took 8-mile hike,” Lisa Walton, Aug. 26, 2012
The attorneys at our Littleton law firm represent clients and their families in cases of nursing home abuse. To learn more about what we do, see our practice area page.