Kansas News

Kansas Nursing Home Resident Wanders Off Unnoticed

A Kansas man was bewilder when he saw a stumbling woman approaching his north Topeka residence several weeks ago. At first, Tony Martinez believed the woman to be intoxicated before he realized that she was obviously ill and struggling.

“The more and more I looked at her, I could tell she was sick, she was dragging herself to here and once she got here, she pretty much rolled down this hill,” Martinez commented on the experience.

After calling 911 for assistance, a worker from the nearby Brighton Place patient care center arrived at the scene to rescue the psychiatric patient who had escaped from the facility.

Martinez expressed his utter concern regarding the quality of care provided for the patients when he witnessed the interaction between the two. “Picking her up, not being able to hold her weight, dropping her on the ground, repositioning herself to pick her up off the ground, dropping her again,” he commented. “She looked at me and said, ‘don’t argue with me I know how to handle my patients, ‘why are your patients four blocks away unattended when they obviously need help?’” he explained.

The patient care facility has offered limited comments on the occurrence, stating only that the woman was a psychiatric patient who wandered away and was returned with no bodily harm. Although Brighton Place has not had any specific reports of patient abuse over the past several years, other safety concerns have arisen.

The Department on Aging emphasizes that it is important to thoroughly investigate any long-term care facility or nursing home before admitting family members. “Take a visit to the nursing home at different times of day, observe the staff, how are they interacting with the residents, are there enough of them there?” commented Vera VanBruggen of the Kansas Department on Aging.

“I’ve never seen a health care person treat anyone like that,” Martinez says, “that’s somebody’s loved one, God forbid, that would’ve been my mom,” Martinez concluded.

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