Mom passed away overnight in AL. Is the facility liable for something here? - AgingCare.com

Mom passed away overnight in AL. Is the facility liable for something here?

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No one did the check ins specified in care plan. Cops were there when my sister got there. Sister called at 1030 no answer, she then called AL staff to check---They said she had probably fallen, got tangled in her gown?.. the staff put her back in bed before the cops and sister came. Now they say she has to go to the medical examiners office to determine cause of death. Is that usual? Also- the routine early am nursing check on mom per her care plan was ignored today- no one came by- Is the Al facility liable for something here?

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My condolences on your mother's death. This is a great loss, and the circumstances a stressful shock. Hugs to you and your sister.

In many states any unattended death must be investigated and if your mother was not on hospice or there was no reason to think her death was imminent, that is why the medical examiner would need to be involved. It doesn't mean there was something suspicious about the death, but determining cause would be routine under the circumstances.

It is hard to know how outraged to be about the missed room check without knowing more about the situation. Do they almost always make the checks within a reasonable time frame, or are they lax all of the time? Was there an emergency on that floor that night? Generally facilities are staffed at night for routine procedures. If something non-routine requires staff attention, there may not be a backup to get to all the room checks on time. Is it a matter of no room check, or just not logging it?

My mother fell out of bed last night. The routine room check was done at 3:00 am and all was well. At 3:30 a staff person just walking by noticed something wrong and found Mom on the floor. So even if checks are in place and done correctly, lots can happen between checks. That is no excuse for not doing the checks, of course, but no ALF can keep an eye on each resident 24/7.

As for liability, a lawyer could answer that. Why don't you see what comes from the medical examiner's office, and give yourself some time for the shock to wear off, and consider your options.
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I too am wondering about 2 issues:

(1) Why the police were called, and

(2) Why an autopsy would be performed. I thought it was more or less standard that autopsies weren't performed on older people unless foul play was suspected.

Have you tried to contact the responding police and ask for a police report?
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Our Assisted Living experience last week was so horrible, I have no doubt the same thing would have happened to my MIL had she stayed there. I don't mean to throw fuel on the fire, but I do think you are asking the right questions and that the ALF should be held accountable..not for your Mom's death, which might have occurred at any time, but for following their own stated procedures. They should be able to show you room check logs, etc., for their sake as well as yours.
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So sorry to hear about the passing of your Mom.

I would suggest your wait until your hear from the medical examiner as what was the cause of your Mother's death.

Would it had been possible that your Mother was up and about in her room lets say at 9:00 a.m., then she had a medical emergency just prior to your sister calling at 10:30 a.m.?

I am wondering why the police were called? And who called them?
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