Assisted living facility where resident died allowed to admit residents

The assisted living facility where an 84-year-old woman was found dead in December is now allowed to accept new residents again after earlier violations had been corrected.

The Department of Health Services conducted a verification visit Feb. 22, 2018 at Faith Gardens MemoryCare in Sun Prairie and determined the facility was in substantial compliance with the requirements governing community-based residential facilities, so the order as lifted barring the admittance of new or additional residents.

In January, the department identified areas in which Faith Gardens was not in compliance and ordered Faith Gardens not to admit any new or additional residents.

The body of Alice L. McGaw, 84, of Sun Prairie, was found on Dec. 29, 2017 outside Faith Gardens where she was a resident. Hypothermia was a factor in her death, according to the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office

The corrective plan by Faith Gardens Memory Care was approved by the Division of Quality Assurance on Feb. 6, 2018.

Among the provisions of the corrective plan, Faith Gardens had the alarm system inspected and reports that it is working correctly. Front doors are now double alarmed, and staff has received additional training on the alarm policy.

The plan also notes that polices regarding shift rounds, reporting, missing residents and elopement policies and alarm policies have been reviewed with the staff.

Residents who exhibit wandering behaviors will have an elopement assessment completed by Feb. 12, 2018, according to the plan.

The document also includes a disclaimer that states that the facility does not necessarily agree with all the facts and allegations in the statement of deficiencies, it is providing the plan of correction good faith and because it is required by the state.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services on Jan. 23, 2018, mailed Faith Gardens a notice of violation ordering them to stop admitting new patients until they have submitted a plan of correction to address several deficiencies.

They also ordered the facility to pay a fine of $4,200, however because the facility did not appeal, they paid a reduced forfeiture amount of $2,730.

The Wisconsin Department of Health Services Division Quality Assurance has regulatory oversight over Wisconsin's health and residential car facilities.

The Statement of Deficiencies and Notice of Violation letters were released Monday and are now available online.

Among the deficiencies, investigators say the facility did not provide the supervision necessary to ensure that the residents received proper care and treatment, that their health and safety are protected and promoted, and that their rights are respected. 

The report also said the facility did not meet the needs of McGaw, identified in the report as Resident 1, who exhibited exit-seeking behaviors and was identified as a 'wanderer.'

According to the report, Resident 1 exited a door, undetected by staff. Staff began a search and subsequently found Resident 1 outside, laying on the ground, behind a local business. The report noted Resident 1 was dead when found.

The facility door alarm system was not activated during the time of the incident and facility staff did not complete the assigned daily task for hourly safety checks.

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