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Elderly Woman Killed by Alligator after Wandering Away From Nursing Home

A 90-year-old woman died after wandering away from the nursing home facility where she lived. The South Carolina woman’s body was found in a pond near the nursing home. She had been attacked by an alligator, the first report of a fatal alligator attack in the state. An autopsy indicated that the woman died from blunt force and blunt sharp trauma injuries. The woman apparently left the nursing home without being detected. Her body was located a few hours after she went missing.

Wandering is Serious

Wandering is a serious problem that may occur with nursing home residents. When a patient is able to leave the facility unnoticed it is a sign that there is a lack of supervision. Patients are supposed to be supervised and are not allowed to leave a nursing home on their own. Wandering is just one of the signs that nursing home neglect has occurred. Many times, the staff notices that the patient is missing and the person is quickly located near the facility. In this instance, the woman wandered into the pond area where an alligator was present.

Signs of Nursing Home Neglect

Lack of supervision is one of the most common signals that nursing home neglect is taking place. When there are not enough caregivers to properly monitor and assist residents, it can result in serious injuries. Falls are common in nursing homes, but should be preventable if there is proper supervision. Pressure sores are another common sign of neglect. Pressure sores develop when a person confined to bed is not repositioned in bed often enough. Once pressure sores develop they can worsen and become infected.

Prevention of Wandering

Wandering is a serious concern for many elderly people, especially those who have diminished capacity, such as those with Alzheimer’s disease. The nursing home should take precautions to prevent people from leaving the facility. The front door should be properly locked, particularly at night. The front desk staff must monitor the area so they are aware immediately if someone is nearing the exit. The use of security cameras will also help, if they are being monitored adequately. The most important deterrent for wandering is for the nursing home to have plenty of staff checking on residents all the time.

Nursing Home Neglect Cases

Those who were hurt because of nursing home neglect should be entitled to compensation. The negligent nursing home is responsible for providing proper care to patients. When they fail to do so and a resident is injured they are held accountable. In this case, the woman died from her injuries after the nursing home was neglectful. While nothing can be done to change the outcome, the family deserves justice for the neglectful death of their loved one. Hopefully, the nursing home will implement changes necessary to ensure the safety of their residents moving forward. If your loved one was injured due to neglectful care in a nursing home, contact the legal team at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation.

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