Elderly neglect in North Dakota has been featured recently in the news, showcasing behaviors that put residents in serious danger and have led to complications and injuries in several North Dakotan nursing homes.
One of the most shocking examples of elderly neglect in North Dakota happened in the town of Minot at the Trinity Homes Nursing Home. A wheelchair-bound resident was allowed to go out to smoke one bitter-cold day. The woman hadn’t been checked out, the staff didn’t know she had left, and the woman did not wear the proper attire out in the subzero cold. With only a hat and unfastened coat, the woman’s wheelchair became lodged in a snowdrift with 10 mph wind and a temperature of -6 degrees.
Luckily, although it could have taken only 10 minutes for her to contract frostbite, she was seen by a member of the maintenance staff and wheeled back into the nursing home. Upon review, the inspectors from the federal government determined the woman had been placed in immediate jeopardy.
Trinity Homes also contributed to elderly neglect in North Dakota by placing residents in “immediate jeopardy” by abandoning a cleaning cart with toxic materials for 17 minutes without attending to it in a unit with a wandering patient. In October 2018, inspectors received a series of complaints citing inadequate staffing. Other residents complained that the staff failed to answer call lights for times exceeding 45 minutes.
Trinity Homes was not alone in contributing to elderly neglect in North Dakota, however, Knife River Care Center in Beulah has also been called out by news outlets for causing “actual harm” by refusing to respect a resident’s right to have visitors. Allegedly, one resident was refused family visits despite making repeated requests. The home didn’t want visitors during a flu outbreak and therefore ignored the requests. Visitation requests were made by the family over a period of five days to see the resident, who was ill, as stated by an inspection report in April 2018.
Unfortunately, the patient passed away without getting to see their relatives, despite multiple requests for a visit. One relative, who complained about the visitation refusal, even offered to wear a mask, gloves, and gown but was still denied access.
With more stories emerging about elderly neglect in North Dakota and other homes across the nation, consumers are receiving a flood of negative information about nursing homes. Hopefully, these new revelations will inform consumers just as they will motivate delinquent homes to improve their staffing and performance.
For more information about nursing home neglect, visit the National Association of Nursing Home Attorneys Neglect Page.