Iowa Care Facility Fined After Wrongly Reporting Resident Had Died
We now have more information about an incredibly unfortunate incident in Iowa.
At approximately 6 a.m. on January 3, 2023, a central Iowa care facility worker reported a 66-year-old woman had died. The woman, who had been in hospice for a week, was dealing with anxiety, depression, and early-onset dementia.
After receiving the report from a worker, a nurse practitioner declared the woman deceased. Approximately 90 minutes later, a funeral director arrived at Glen Oaks Alzheimer's Special Care Center in Urbandale to transport the body to Ankeny Funeral Home & Crematory. KCCI says the funeral director "reported there were no signs of life, zipped up the resident in a cloth bag, and dropped her body off at the Ankeny Funeral Home and Crematory within the hour."
According to the Des Moines Register, funeral home staff called 911 after they opened the body bag and discovered that the woman was breathing. When emergency personnel arrived, they confirmed the woman had a pulse and was breathing, though she didn't respond verbally or move her eyes.
The woman was taken to Mercy West Lakes Hospital. She passed away two days later while under hospice care.
The Des Moines Register reports that the Iowa Department of Inspection and Appeals determined Glen Oaks had "failed to provide adequate direction to ensure appropriate cares and services were provided." They fined Glen Oaks Alzheimer's Special Care Center $10,000 for the incident.
The Ankeny Police Department says they have no plans to file criminal charges in the case.