Helen Menneke (83 years old), formerly of Mundelein (IL), was admitted to Winchester House in Libertyville in January of 2004, suffering from dementia. She fell several times over the course of the year, suffering a brain injury and broken bones. After one such fall, nurses implemented an alarm system for beds and wheelchairs. Injuries from a final fall in December of 2004 required surgery, and Menneke died in January 2005.
After Menneke’s death, Winchester House instituted new policies requiring staff to more frequently check patients’ wheelchair and bed alarms to ensure they’re working properly. The resident’s family was outraged by the poor care provided by the nursing home and filed a negligence suit against the facility which was settled for $1 million.
My Question: Why did an elderly person have to die before the facility “instituted new policies” to prevent such tragedies?