The family of a Philadelphia woman has filed a lawsuit against the assisted living where she spent her final days, alleging the facility’s negligence resulted in her untimely death.
Dementia Patient Falls 15 Feet To Sidewalk Below
In July 2018, at Wesley Enhanced Living at Stapeley in the Germantown area of Philadelphia, the then 78-year-old woman was a resident. She suffered from dementia and also had several other health concerns, including poor vision.
According to their lawsuit, on the day of her death, she was left unsupervised. She wandered away from her regular area and out an unlocked side door at the facility. She spent 23 minutes alone outside before she took a wrong step and fell over the side of the property and onto the sidewalk, nearly two stories below.
She managed to survive the fall and was left to suffer on the sidewalk before a passerby found her and she was rushed to the hospital. At the hospital, she succumbed to her injuries and died.
Her loved ones allege that surveillance video shows her leaving the facility. An alarm on the door did go off, but it wasn’t until 25 minutes later than an employee came to check the alarm. Even then, all the employee did was shut the door – they never checked outside to see if a resident had wandered. The facility only learned that she had wandered away and become injured when the hospital called to notify them.
The legal complaint also reports that according to the Pennsylvania Department of Health and Human Services, three other residents have also been able to leave the facility without anyone noticing in recent days.
Wandering Is A Major Issue In Nursing Homes
Two of the most common medical conditions that are seen in nursing homes include dementia and Alzheimer’s, both of which impact a person’s memory and ability to communicate among other symptoms. Patients suffering from these medical conditions are highly likely to wander. Doctors suspect this is because the nursing home is unfamiliar to them and they are seeking a setting which is familiar.
The problem with wandering is that it often results in injury. This is why nursing homes need to be properly staffed and security measures need to be in place that prevents residents from leaving a safe area.
Slip & Fall Accidents Are Common When Wandering
You might think that it would take a fall from a considerable height to cause serious harm to a nursing home resident but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, perfectly healthy children and adults can sustain life-altering injuries from a fall at standing height. So when the elderly and ill take a tumble, it can put their life at risk.
Common injuries sustained in a fall include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal damage
- Nerve damage
- Broken bones
The medications and medical conditions that are common in the elderly can make caring for these injuries even more complicated than normal. Sadly, many nursing home residents never fully recover after a fall.
Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse Lawsuits Can Help Provide The Elderly With Proper Care
If you or a loved one have been neglected or abused in a nursing home, legal action may be the only way to recover compensation that will pay for the appropriate care. Our attorneys proudly stand against nursing homes that fail their residents and aggressively fight for our client’s rights.
Our legal team has represented thousands of PA residents. We work hard to carefully review all of the facts, collect evidence, and pursue justice. We are dedicated to excellent communication with our clients, who we update whenever a change occurs in their case.
Call us now so we can take steps to ensure that the neglect and abuse stops.