Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Creve Coeur Nursing Home Cited for Neglect after Three Residents Found outside in Freezing Temperatures

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Creve Coeur Nursing Home Cited for Neglect after Three Residents Found outside in Freezing Temperatures

Article excerpt

Staff at Autumn View Gardens assisted living facility in Creve Coeur put residents in imminent danger in January when three residents with dementia were found outside the building in freezing temperatures, according to a state investigation.

The facility, owned by Colorado-based Bethesda Senior Living Communities, satisfied investigators' citations by installing a new door alarm system, retraining staff on supervision policies and adding a full-time receptionist at the front desk.

Joshua Thomas, Bethesda's regional vice president of operations, said he couldn't comment on the residents' situations but provided a statement.

"We are a mission-driven, nonprofit organization and we take the safety and security of our residents very seriously and review our safety protocols periodically. We take great pride in the care that we provide to all of our residents."

One resident with Alzheimer's disease went outside without a coat for 10 minutes on Jan. 3 when the temperature was 27 degrees. The next day, the resident again went outside without a coat or shoes when the temperature was 18 degrees. On Jan. 6, with a temperature of 4 degrees, the resident went outside a third time without coat or shoes. Family members had previously expressed concern about the resident's tendency to wander, inspectors from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services wrote in a February report after a visit to the facility.

During the inspectors' visit, there was no documentation of the resident as an "elopement risk" and no picture posted at the front desk as recommended. The resident's doctor told the inspectors that the resident had worsening dementia and should not be allowed to go outside unsupervised.

A second resident with dementia was found sitting on the ground two blocks from the facility on Jan. 24 with no coat and wet pants in 42-degree weather. A passer-by had alerted staff at the facility of "an older person walking down the street."

A pastor at St. Richard's Catholic Church across Schuetz Road from the facility brought back a third resident with known confusion and memory problems who had walked into the church without a coat on Dec. …

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