Individuals throughout the Pittsburgh area rely upon nursing homes to care for their loved ones who are in need of round-the-clock care. As the baby boomer generation ages the reliance upon nursing home and assisted living facilities will likely only continue to grow. Unfortunately, despite people moving their loved ones into the homes to keep them safe, they can be injured or die should certain precautions not be taken.
This is sadly illustrated in the death of a man who resided at a nursing home in a neighboring state. The 85-year-old man was found outside of the building in the middle of one night last month. He managed to make his way into the courtyard despite the doors having been locked. After being found shortly after 1:00 in the morning, he was immediately taken to a hospital. There, the man sadly died after suffering a heart attack.
Initially it was believed the man, whose room was located on the second floor of the facility, fell to the ground below after falling from either the window or a roof that he climbed out onto. When an autopsy revealed that was not in fact what happened, it was determined that he must have known the code to the alarm that was on the doors in the section of the secure portion of the building where he lived.
The man had lived at the nursing home, where he granddaughter worked, for close to four years. He reportedly had a history of wandering which was why his room was in a secured part of the building.
No criminal charges are expected in the case. It is possibly however that a wrongful death lawsuit could be filed.
Source: Times Union, "No charges in nursing home death," Paul Nelson, Jan. 15, 2013