Dementia-stricken woman dies after senior home serves her dishwashing liquid

PLUS: Nursing homes fail to replace workers who quit during COVID

NEW YORK POST – The Atria Park Senior Living Facility in San Mateo is under investigation after a woman was served dishwashing liquid, according to reports

A dementia-stricken woman died after the California senior citizens home she lived in errantly served her dishwashing liquid instead of juice, the home said.

The woman was one of three residents rushed to the hospital after they drank the caustic liquid, KRON-TV reported.

The employees involved have been suspended as the home investigates internally and cooperates with local authorities, the facility said.

“We have been working with local authorities, who have informed us that one resident passed away,” Atria said in a statement to the station.

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“A jug of grape juice is what somebody thought they had picked up and poured into glasses, but it was some sort of cleaning fluid.”

One source told NBC Bay Area the inedible liquid might have been confused with grape juice.

“There may have been a mistake,’’ the source involved in the investigation told the local NBC affiliate … READ MORE. 

Recent coverage from USA TODAY sheds some light on the challenges of staffing nursing homes in the post-pandemic phase … 

‘Permanent shock’ to nursing homes? Facilities fail to replace workers who quit after COVID outbreaks

Most nursing homes lost more than half their nurses and aides last year, which could complicate President Joe Biden’s push to increase staffing.

Jayme Fraser, August 4, 2022

USA TODAY – Nursing home staffs shrunk in the weeks and months after severe COVID-19 outbreaks, according to a new study, and federal data shows most facilities lost more than half their nurses and aides in the past year.

The study found facilities have struggled to refill openings, particularly among certified nursing assistants, who provide most bedside care – findings that both complicate and underscore the need for President Joe Biden’s push to establish nationwide staffing-level requirements.

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“Will they come back? Or is this going to be a permanent shock to the caregiving workforce?” asked Karen Shen, the health economist who led the study.

Increased nurse staffing is linked to better health outcomes for nursing-home residents, with registered nurses playing a particularly important role in managing the spread of infectious diseases. That reality gained broader significance during the COVID-19 pandemic, which increased public awareness of nursing-home shortfalls.

The pandemic also brought attention to the challenges faced by nursing-home workers, who historically have been paid less than their counterparts in hospitals or government-run health programs.

Shen says the study highlights not only the urgency to ensure nursing homes have adequate staffing during outbreaks, but also how facilities struggle to recover in the weeks and months that follow.


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