An Alzheimer’s patient in an Indiana nursing home was found frozen to death on the ground outside the facility. He was able to leave the facility unnoticed and froze when he was left outside overnight in sub-zero temperatures.
The cause of death for the resdient was hypothermia.
One of the main reasons that people with family members with Alzheimer’s seek to admit them to nursing homes is to ensure that they do not wander outside when it is not safe. Many Alzheimer’s patients, unlike other nursing home residents, are not physically debilitated, so it is important for the nursing staff to be aware of where they are at all times.
Frequent head counts, locked or monitored doors to the exterior, and bracelets that set off an alarm when someone leaves the unit are requirements for discharging this responsibility properly. It is difficult to understand how someone could be missed for that length of time if the facility was properly monitoring the patients under their care.