95-year-old woman found dead after wandering away from care facility in Des Moines

The Des Moines police department is investigating the death of a 95-year-old nursing home resident who went missing on Monday night. Helen Jensen, age 95, was found dead about 100 yards from the nursing home where she lived.

According to a report on King5.com, Jensen went missing from the Wesley Homes Health Care Center about 11:30pm Monday night. Staff at Wesley did not call the police until about 2:30am. Police searched for Jensen about 45 minutes before they found her lying on the ground about 100 yards away from the nursing home at 100 S 216th Street in Des Moines.

Police looked at video surveillance tapes and saw that Jensen had left the nursing home in her wheel chair at about 11:45pm.

The King County medical examiner has not yet determined Jensen’s cause of death. Temperatures in the SeattleBellevueTacoma metropolitan area have been below freezing for the last few nights.

If Jensen died of exposure or hypothermia, which is the death of someone who was exposed to extreme temperatures, this may be a case of nursing home neglect.

Families whose loved ones have died because of nursing home neglect may have a valid wrongful death claim. Cases like this one are terrible tragedies but they may be a symptom of a nursing home being understaffed or not having the skill to recognize a patient who is apt to wander or elope. A nursing home’s first and foremost responsibility is to insure patient safety.

Nursing home staff need to be educated about patient’s who are at risk for wandering. There are steps a care facility can take like using electronic alarms which notifies staff when a patient leaves a safe area. A nursing home or assisted living home should also have an emergency preparedness plan which should be put into place as soon as a patient is missing.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured by nursing home abuse or neglect and the families of those who have died.

Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or attorney@hgfarber.com to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.


0 responses to “95-year-old woman found dead after wandering away from care facility in Des Moines”

  1. Heather TULILOA says:

    I quit working there back in 98 after 5years,I Could not take the lack of care to the residents; when snot is running down into the residents mouth.When every one from Amin to Kitchen help go bye doing nothing about it.I asked a CNA,I was told “it’s not my job”.