On Dec 13, 2011, a 74 year old resident from Maple Valley Nursing home (Maple City, MI) walked independently out of the facility, unknown to his caregivers. It was known that the resident would try to leave the facility on his own while wandering. The resident was cognitively unable to care for himself, with poor long and short-term memory.
The resident was last seen at 2:05 pm inside Maple Valley Nursing Home. A non-employee found the resident sitting near a pond of water on property adjacent to the facility at approx 3 pm. He was “shivering from the cold” and his body temperature had dropped 2 degrees while outside on that winter day.
Fortunately, this resident was found, brought back inside, and resumed his normal activities later that day. If a good Samaritan did not take this resident back to the nursing home, who knows how long it would have taken for the nursing home to notice he was missing. Thankfully, he was returned to the facility before he froze to death.
The state cited the facility for failing to provide supervision to this resident who was ‘an elopement risk’ (he was known to try and leave the facility).
According to the state investigation report, Maple Valley Nursing Home has new interventions regarding ‘exit seeking residents’ and there will be additional security methods used on the exit doors.