Brookdale Senior Living Solutions
September 26th, 2016 by Attorney Roger Weinberg
Brookdale operates more than 1,100 assisted living facilities in 47 states, according to its website. One of those states is Maryland, where it operates seven facilities. Assisted living facilities are meant to provide a level of care that is less involved than that of a nursing home or skilled nursing facility. One of the dangers of using such a facility is that the operator may be more focused on filling beds and generating income than ensuring residents are not too disabled to safely live there.
Assisted living facilities are meant to help those who need assistance with activities of daily living, such as feeding, toileting, dressing and personal hygiene. Depending on the resident, this may not be a long-term living solution because health and abilities may deteriorate. If the facility can’t provide appropriate care to the resident, he or she should be moved to a nursing home or a hospital. If an assisted living facility is not properly run, that resident may be seen as revenue that needs to stay — not as a person who needs to leave in order to live a safer life.
All of the Maryland Brookdale locations are assisted living facilities. All but the Woodward Estates location in Bowie are supposed to accommodate residents who have Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. They include:
- Brookdale Towson in Baltimore
- Brookdale Woodward Estates in Bowie
- Brookdale Hagerstown
- Brookdale Olney
- Brookdale Pikesville
- Brookdale Potomac
- Brookdale Westminster.
The fact that there may not be enough employees in general, or enough employees trained and knowledgeable about properly caring for residents, can result in catastrophic mistakes. Assisted living facilities, especially those that advertise themselves as being able to care for individuals suffering from dementia, have a legal duty to properly supervise residents.
That didn’t appear to be the case in July when Bonnie Walker, a 90-year-old resident of a Charlestown, South Carolina, Brookdale facility suffering from dementia, was able to walk away from the facility unnoticed (this is called “elopement“), according to the Associated Press.
Ms. Walker was found dead in a nearby pond. According to authorities, she died of injuries caused by an alligator. Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said in a statement that investigators believe she slipped or fell into the pond and the alligator attacked her. Her body was found only hours after she left her Brookdale assisted living home.
Ms. Walker should not have been able to just walk away from the facility. She should have been under the supervision of staff, or there should have been an alarm to notify facility employees when she left the building. Without those kinds of protections, an assisted living community advertised as appropriate for someone with dementia is an accident waiting to happen.
If your loved one has suffered neglect or abuse at a Brookdale assisted living facility in Maryland, we can help you address the situation and hold those responsible accountable for their actions. At the Law Offices of Roger S. Weinberg, you’ll find compassionate support and experienced advocates to help your family through the tough times. Call 410-825-3161 today to schedule a free consultation.