Now that we have turned the corner (hopefully) on the pandemic, it might be time to get back to the basics of ensuring our environment is safe and healthy for our residents and staff. Hopefully, we have continued to maintain an active environmental safety committee and continue to monitor/audit high-risk areas on a scheduled basis. This might include hot water temperatures, door alarms, wheelchair clinics, etc.
The reason I bring this up is because of a recent article in the Tennessean publication discussing a recent elopement from an assisted living center. It appears that a resident left unsupervised, through an exit door that was equipped with an alarm however the alarm did not sound. The resident was missing for several hours before being found outside, deceased. This event occurred at the end of February 2021 when the weather was still cold and extra precautions are usually in place.
At the end of the day, this is a tragic event. The state has taken measures to prevent this center from admitting new residents which is customary in these situations. Don’t wait for something to happen in your center, please maintain environmental checks and audits, document your actions and be sure someone is circling back to verify things are being done as planned. Stay well, mask as appropriate and stay tuned!