A 98-year-old Florida nursing home resident who was outside in the hot sun for an unknown period of time on May 27, 2018 was found unresponsive with a temperature of 103.2 degrees. She died two weeks later in the hospital from hyperthermia caused by exposure to the sun.
An investigation by the Florida Department of Children and Families that began after the elderly woman was brought to the hospital found that the woman had suffered heat stroke, severe dehydration, and second degree burns on her mouth, arms, and shoulders. The investigation cited the Florida nursing home’s inadequate supervision of the woman that led to her injuries. The investigation concluded, however, before the woman died.
Despite the Florida nursing home staff having observed the elderly resident sitting on the patio in the hot sun at 11 a.m., it was not until 12:37 p.m. that the paramedics were called.
The executive director of the Florida nursing home reportedly stated that even though the elderly resident used a wheelchair, she was capable of exiting and entering the facility on her own. The executive director suggested that the resident’s condition upon arrival at the hospital may have been due to an allergic reaction to something that the paramedics had given her before arriving at the hospital.
Despite the nursing home’s executice director’s statement, the state investigator described the resident as “a 98-year-old female suffering from advance dementia, physical limitations and the infirmaties of aging which impedes her ability to provide for her own care and protections. Victim is nonverbal. Victim requires full assistance with [activities of daily life].”
The 52-year-old granddaughter of the elderly resident, who was raised by her grandmother, lamented, “When I was young, she took care of me and I trusted her. The roles turned and she trusted me to take care of her, and I failed.”
The local police are still investigating the incident and the local state attorney’s office is waiting to see if the police uncover evidence of any crime before any action may be taken.
The family of the woman has filed a nursing home abuse lawsuit against the Florida nursing home. The family’s nursing home abuse lawyer stated, “I’m mortified that nothing more has been done. The message I want to send is we will not tolerate the abuse of our elderly.”
If you or a loved one suffered injuries (or worse) while a resident of a nursing home in Florida or in another U.S. state due to nursing home neglect, nursing home negligence, nursing home abuse, nursing home under-staffing, or the nursing home failing to properly care for a vulnerable adult, you should promptly find a nursing home claim attorney in Florida or in your state who may investigate your nursing home claim for you and file a nursing home claim on your behalf or behalf of your loved one, if appropriate.
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