My Aunt passed away last week in a nursing home at age 87. I got a issue I need to talk about if I may?

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I was my Aunt's durable POA. She was placed in a Nursing home because she wasn't able to live alone no longer. After she was in the Nursing home I had to stop visiting her for awhile because,ever time I went to see her she would demand me to take her home.She had bad dementia .It bothered me bad not to visit her but,it did help her get use to being in their.That was my main goal was to get her use to being in there.In the past she would ask me to take her home.It was sad to tell her I can't....As time went bye I would receive phone calls from the nursing home saying she fill or sick or letting me know they treated her .Here is the main issue,,,,,
I received a call from the Nursing home 10 PM saying my Aunt passed away in her sleep. They told me they put her down for bed. Ten minutes later they went to check on her and she was dead they told me.I didn't see her body until the day of the funeral.
The day of her funeral the first thing other family members and I noticed.My Aunt's nose looked broke in the casket .Her nose was bent very bad.All the Family members was telling me her nose looks like it was broke!..I then asked the funeral director about her nose looking broke and the funeral man told me he thought so too.He stated her nose was like that when he received her.I decided at that time to continue with the funeral.I took photos.She was to be at rest the following day.When I got home after the funeral more and more wonders came to mind.Family members was upset telling me to contact the funeral home.So,I did.That same night I called the funeral director asking him to take photos of her face before they laid her to rest and I ask if he can write me out a statement stating he receive her in that condition.After I asked the director to do that.His story changes.He told me that if her nose was broke there would have been some type of bruising to her face.But,yet during the funeral even the director told us he thought it looked broke too.Strange how the director's story changed after I called to ask more questions......Not once did I ever receive a call from the Nursing home stating she broke her nose.During the funeral her nose was bad.Everyone stated it looked broke and even the funeral director felt at that time.I haven't seen my Aunt for about a month before she passed.If she died face first on the floor I could understand why her nose would look broke.But,they told me she died in bed in her sleep.She is now in the ground at rest.Should I attempt to look more into this or should I let her RIP and do nothing.If she would have broke her nose a month ago and the nursing home didn't tell me is my wonder.Any advice please?Anyone else ever have a family member's nose broke in a casket?I haven't called the Nursing Home yet to ask.I'm not for sure if I should attempt or not?Thanks!


I think that your opportunity to take any action has passed. As POA you really were responsible for her well being at the home...and should have been visiting. Dementia causes patients to ask to be taken home, not just when they are in a home, but also when they are actually at home. It is found to mean they want to go to a childhood home, or they want to go back to a time when they were functional.

At this point, her body was in the hands of too many people, the nursing home, the transportation company, potentially an ambulance, a coronor's office perhaps, and finally the funeral home. Even if this nose break happened before death (which is unlikely because there would be bruising) you will have no legal way to prove that. It could have happened at any point after her death and you cannot prove when.

You are not going to get anyone involved to claim this damage. You will be wasting your time and causing yourself unneeded stress and worry. My advice would be to drop the matter and find peace that your aunt is finally at rest now.

My question would be what is it you hope to find, to identify, and/or to solve?

You couldn't prove the possible fracture without x-rays, if they were taken, or, more severe yet, exhumation, which I would consider drastic just to prove a point.

She fell; she could easily have broken her nose. Would that have caused her death? I don't know but doubt it. Read the Death Certificate - what's the statedccause of death?

I don't see anything to be gained by pursuing this issue. It's only going to create doubt and prolong grieving for her family.

If her nose was broken, it probably occurred during the fall, but you can't prove that. Even if you could, what would you hope to accomplish? You have no grounds for a malpractice claim.

Perhaps you could file a complaint against the nursing home, but that's about the extent of action you could take. I still think that raising anxiety among the family, who presumably are already grieving, is not wise at this point.
Angel raises a good point that I missed. The nursing home wasn't the only entity handling care of your aunt after her death. You have no way to follow the "chain of command" and prove that anyone in it contributed to or caused the alleged damage to her nose.
First of all, I'm sorry for the loss of your aunt. We do the best we can as caretakers. Don't blame yourself. Death is the natural progression of this disease.

I would recommend that you get advice from an attorney in the state where she died. If there is a wrongful death claim or something else, there are time lines to file them and an attorney can explain that to you. Not that you want to do this, but you need to know, just in case.

There are many things to consider, but it sounds like you might just want questions answered and to settle your mind and not so much the money issue. And if you did recover money, if she was on Medicaid, her estate may have to pay back funds to Medicaid, so there is that to consider.

I would examine the death certificate to see the cause of death. Did the doctor examine her body? Was a nose injury noted?

Your post says that they put her to bed, then found her dead 10 minutes later. Maybe she did fall out of bed, broke her nose and then passed away. There should be an incident report, with details prepared and signed by the facility. Maybe the attorney can tell you how to get a copy of that. I would keep in mind that unless she was intentionally injured, it's quite likely that she was hurt in the fall by accident and passed away naturally. They provided good care for her for years, correct?

Do you know if they performed any CPR on her? Was she DNR? Could her nose have been injured by resuscitation measures? Maybe, with the right communication, all of your questions could be answered.
When my Aunt was told complainant by her doctor.I was the feller that had to place her in a nursing home. I have a wife and children of my own to support and raise.I could not of taking my Aunt into my home to attempt to care for her.Once she was in the Nursing home.The Nursing home was spending all her assets for healthcare."Private Pay" After the nursing home spent her funds.They then asked me to sell her home so,the nursing home has more money too spend.Nursing home spent every dime she had and sold her home.Means my Aunt had no Home anymore while she was in the nursing home. Every time I went to visit my Aunt she would "Demand" me to take her home!.."She had no Home" The nursing home sold her home!...Even the nursing home told me it was best if I slowed down visiting her in the nursing home for my Aunt to get use to being in their.The nursies use to tell me every time I went to visit her.After words they nothing but,trouble colming her down from wanting to go home.So,for you to say I didn't do my job as a POA. I came here for advice and your pointing the finger towards me saying I didn't do my job as a POA?...I will say this,If you ever become a POA. You will never do it again and that's a fact!.
How long had it been since any of the now concerned relatives had visited your Aunt? As people become elderly and sick their features can change - eyes and cheeks in particular can appear hollow and sunken due to general sagging skin and weight loss. I was just noticing this myself with my mother when I saw her a couple of days ago. These changes will effect the overall appearence of the face perhaps making the nose look different. Even if this is not the case there would have been bruising if your aunt fell while alive - even if the fall was a few weeks back - the sick and elderly just don't heal at a usual pace. Is it possible she was dropped somewhere along the line? Maybe - that would have been unfortunate but what's the point here? What are you hoping to achieve by pursuing this? As for the funeral director - he could have just been agreeing with you at the time assuming grief was clouding your thinking and he was wanting to get the funeral completed as to get your aunt to her final resting place. Let it go - getting all worked up at this point at your aunts care and well being is closing the barn door long after the horse is gone. No disrespect to your aunt intended.
Wow. Okay - missed the rant while I was posting. Nevermind.
When I saw your screen name, I remember a vitriolic post you made sometime ago about Medicaid, but decided that you had a sincere concern and question and decided to answer. I was wrong; your anger is still in existence.

When I read this:

"You can kiss my ***...I came here for advice and your pointing the finger towards me saying I didn't do my job as a POA?...I will say this,If you ever become a POA.You will never do it again and that's a fact!.......You all have a great **** day!....... "

I realized it was a waste of time. I don't see that anyone responded in such a way to provoke such a vitriolic, low class response from you. They offered frank opinions and suggestions. They tried to help; you lashed out in anger.

Plenty of us are proxies under our parents' DPOAs. There are many who are sincere and don't "shoot the messenger".

Oh my, had I realized this was dogabone posting I NEVER would have answered. He or she has made horrible, angry, ridiculous, insulting posts in the past. I withdraw my help. That will teach me to not read the original poster's name before I try to help.

Interesting that dogabone posted to another person asking about how many visits someone needs in a nursing home with this post below, then is very angry when someone suggests the same applies to him or her?

dogabone's post:
"At that age their not able to live alone in their home.One fall is all it takes to stop that living at home care of thinking.The time will come if not here already.
To your question,I would say 3 times a day would be a fare visit frame.She will need someone to give her her morning meds.(Morning).Afternoon lunch(Afternoon) and evening dinner and help to bed.(Evening).What about depends and trips to the bathroom?At age 94 I'm sure she needs help with those issues too."

I guess that advice only applies to others...


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