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Vulnerable adult dies after falling down stairs at Assisted Living facility

By Andrew Gross / August 2, 2017

The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has issued its conclusion regarding the Rose Arbor & Wildflower Lodge assisted living facility in Maple Grove, Minnesota. MDH concluded that the facility violated Minnesota law by neglecting the care needs of one its client. MDH concluded that the client was vulnerable as a result  diagnoses of dementia, CVA, and psychosis.

According to the MDH, the facility was aware for over a year that at least one of the doors in its facility did not close properly. The company had been told this by multiple members of its staff. However,  the company did not take any actions to fix the problem. As a result, a vulnerable adult fell down a flight of stairs. The vulnerable adult was found bleeding from the mouth and nose after wandering through this faulty door. The MDH concluded that the vulnerable adult died five days later to the blunt force injuries sustained when falling down the stairs.

Facility knew the vulnerable adult was at risk for wandering and eloping.

Prior to this event, the facility determined that this vulnerable adult needed a safe and secure environment because of the client’s mental vulnerabilities. In fact, Rose Arbor & Wildflower Lodge had indicated in its care plan that the client was at risk for falls and elopement, and required a secured memory care unit.  Under Minnesota law, a care plan is a required comprehensive document. The document must specifically states how the assisted living will provide for their residents’ “long- and short-term goals for medical, nursing, and mental and psychosocial needs.” Minn. R. 4658.0400. Failure to provide the care required by a plan of care is a violation of Minnesota rules, and places vulnerable adults at considerable risk of harm and injury.

Minnesota law also has a requirement that assisted living facilities, like the Rose Arbor & Wildflower Lodge assisted living facility, provide safe environments to all their clients. The specific regulations state that “A assisted living must provide a safe, clean, functional, comfortable, and homelike physical environment, allowing the resident to use personal belongings to the extent possible.” Failure to provide a safe physical environment imperils the lives of vulnerable adults who may be unable to recognize and avoid dangers in the physical environment.

MDH concluded facility was responsible.

The Minnesota Department of Health concluded that the assisted living (rather than just a rogue employee) was responsible for the neglect to the vulnerable adult. The Department stated “The Client was assessed as requiring a secure unit and the client’s service plan indicated a secure unit would be provided. Staff, including direct care staff, maintenance staff, nurses, and management, were all aware that the unit was frequently not secure due to the door not operating as intended, but no new interventions were put in place to ensure a secure unit was provided.”

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by assisted living facilities and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due neglect or abuse in an assisted living facility or other care facility, take action and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (763)-746-7800 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.