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Resident dies after leaving facility

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posted on mon, apr. 07, 2003

resident dies after leaving nursing facility

alzheimer's sufferer was discovered in monroeville field.

by jennifer boen and mary lou brink

of the news-sentinel (ft. wayne, in news-sentinel)

monroeville - an elderly longtime monroeville resident, who was living at village of heritage, wandered away from the facility saturday afternoon and later that evening was found dead in a field behind the nursing home.

kenneth bauserman, 83, who had alzheimer's disease, died of exposure, according to an allen county coroner's report.

bauserman was last seen by staff in the dining room around 2 p.m., said stacey del priore, administrator of the 61-bed facility, which is owned by adams county memorial hospital.

bauserman was found in a patch of tall brush about one-quarter mile from the home on whittern road about 7:13 p.m., said monroeville town marshal phil meyer.

the marshal said he searched for at least two hours for bauserman.

"it appears that he had been deceased for hours," meyer said this morning. he added that his k9 unit found the man wearing a sweat shirt, sweat pants and shoes, meyer confirmed. he said it appeared bauserman had fallen into some water, then tried to climb to dry land in the brush. he said saturday's cooler temperatures and wind didn't help bauserman.

"but the wind picked up his scent and i believe helped my dog find him," meyer said.

del priore said it seemed like a long time that officials were looking for him. "he lived in monroeville so everyone knew him and would recognize him," she said.

"he had never wandered away before. he was not considered a wander risk," del priore said and added that an internal investigation will ascertain exactly when and how he got out of the building.

those conducting that investigation are the facility and the long term care division of the indiana state department of health.

isdh investigators are expected to visit the facility in the next day or two.

village of heritage does not have a locked unit for alzheimer's residents. nor does it have an enclosed courtyard area. del priore said since the incident she has had all residents reassessed for wandering potential.

earlier that day, bauserman had visited with his wife at village of heritage, and del priore said he had called her by a pet name he had not used for many years.

"we don't know if he had a moment of lucidity and tried to find his way home or what happened," she said.

since the incident, del priore said she has spoken with bauserman's wife. "she's in shock," she said.

"i've never had this happen before," said del priore, who has been a licensed administrator for more than a decade.

meyer echos her sentiments.

"we've done a few (missing person/walk away) reports (from the monroeville police department), but not normally," meyer said. he added that most missing-person reports are children who they find unharmed within a short amount of time.

"unfortunately, this is the first time we've found someone dead," meyer said.

del priore said she feels sorry for the family. "i want to get the word out that even if you've had mom or dad at home, or a loved one in a facility, and they haven't been a wanderer, it can happen in a heartbeat," del priore said.

"it's been a lot to deal with," del priore said about bauserman's death and another recent death. her mother-in law, who had alzheimer's and who lived with del priore and her husband, also died on saturday at del priore's home.

how tragic for the family.

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Yes, this is very sad.

However, I don't understand how they can say that a resident with Alzheimer's isn't a wandering risk?? In the facility I work in, all res w/ any type of dementia wear a wander guard bracelet that sets off an alarm if they go out the door. Not to mention that all of our doors have an alarm that has to be released by entering a code before opening the door.

This place will be lucky to still be open when this is "checked into". Just my opinion.

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Very sad and I smell a lawsuit brewing.........

renerian

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My worst nightmare. Take it from me, those Alzheimer people are slippery little buggers (I mean that respectfully). I've seen them get out past wander sensors, locked units, security desks.........

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absolutely agree with adrie

I've seen patients admitted with history of falls, fractures and the like, +++++ Confused , in a posey restraint,only to meet me at the nurses station when I've finished my rounds

(they got there faster than I DID For goodness sake!) , they can be human pretzels.......

its incredibly sad ....

more and more I miss my grandma , my moms mom, she died when I was 10 and I cannot help but think what things would be like if she were still alive, what a great person

so whenever I hear stories like this it makes me think of her....

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Originally posted by renerian

Very sad and I smell a lawsuit brewing.........

 

renerian

Oh yeah, big time. I bet the lawyers had already called the family before they had the final arrangements done. :rolleyes:

I would think anyone with any kind of dementia who is ambulatory would be a risk for wandering. Some of them are real Houdinis.....:eek:

The weather here Saturday evening was brutal. Cold, wet, and wind chills in the teens. What a miserable way to go. :o

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Originally posted by adrienurse

My worst nightmare. Take it from me, those Alzheimer people are slippery little buggers (I mean that respectfully). I've seen them get out past wander sensors, locked units, security desks.........

Tha'ts sooo true..they may be mentally impaired in some ways but not in others..aka..knowing when nurses change shifts..watching out when all the nurses are tied up in rooms..can be very cleaver in so many ways.That was a sad skeeeeery situation.I can only immagine how his nurse must be feeling right now.Sometimes you can do everything within your power and things still go wrong.My heart goes out to his nurse and the man's family both.

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When I woked as an AN in a nursing home, this kind of situation scared the daylights out of me, One day, it was winter, and very foggy, I was driving home from a late, and swereved to miss a pedestrian in the middle of the road, Got out the car, and it was one of the residents, who had walked a good distance away from the home, must have been about a mile to a mile and a half.

Go him in my car, with a lot of persusion, and went back to work, just as the bobbies where there.

It still plauges me with what would have happened if I had taken the more 'sensible' route home in the bad weather.

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This same situation happened at a facility not far from where I used to live in NJ. The wife placed her husband for respite care for a week so she could "take a break.'' The poor thing must have been so guilt ridden over the whole thing. I couldn't imagine being in her shoes, or the shoes of the staff who were taking care of him or even the shoes of the administration who probably said, "He'll be in the best hands, so don't worry about a thing."

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