A must-share story: rat dies in the mouth of a senior care patient

AP story here.

For the life of me, I can’t can’t figure out how this could happen. Did the guy try to eat the rat? Was the rat looking for a final resting place?

Well, “crawled in and died” is the claim of the family. The alternative story from the center is that the Alzheimer’s patient picked up a trapped/dead rat and put it in his mouth before attendants found it.

I’m still not recommending the facility to any of my California friends or family, but the lawsuit may not be an accurate representation of reality.

Jeez, that place is right down the street from me…

Although they heavily advertise their dementia and Alzheimer’s care, now they are backpedaling in the local media, saying they are barely “assisted” living and residents are fairly independent. :dubious:

The lawsuit, filed Thursday on behalf of 90-year-old Sigmund Bock, alleges that administrators at the Paragon Gardens Assisted Living and Memory Care Community in Mission Viejo overbooked their facility to receive corporate bonuses, but cut back on staff to increase profits.

Although this is an extreme case, the last part of the sentence sounds like alot of nursing homes and assisted care facilities that I know. Adequate staffing is critical in places like this, and is also the first thing to be cut.

What the hell is an accurate representation of reality? I can’t imagine that any place where a patient could find a dead rat would pass inspection by the authorities.

I don’t know what other areas are like, but I do know that in Pennsylvania, facilities are very well aware of when the state is coming in to inspect. They have plenty of warning. Most places will simply hire temporary nursing agency staff, and recruit new workers. After the inspection, the facility staffing will return to its normal level.

That said, I do have to say that this is an extreme case. This facility should be shut down immediately, and the authorities should be brought in to inspect it. This is the way that inspections should be done, in the first place.

The reality comment was an ovbservaton about the lawsuit. I already noted that i would not recommend the establishment, regardless how the rat got to its dicovered position.

Lawsuit claim: rat climbed into mouth of Alzheimer’s patient and died.
Alternative position: Alzheimer’s patient was playing with trapped rat and engaged in infantile behavior, putting the rat in hs mouth.

Either way the facility is trash, but the reality of the situation changes a bit with the telling of the story.

My mother is a nurse’s aid and at every home she worked at that was the case. And the professionalism of some of the inspectors was somewhat lacking. In one case inspectors kept threating to give a bad report because they allowed a 65 year old to play with dolls, because “she’s a grown woman”. The woman in question also had severe Down’s Syndrome and the mental age of a 3 year old.

I can certainly sympathize. If the woman needs a doll to keep her happy, let her have the doll. I had several residents who were attached to objects like that. The regression is simply a part of the condition. An inspector who does not recognize that is ignoring a resident’s right to choose.

I was going about it from a philosophic point of view in that if you can’t sit on the word chair, is it really an accurate representation of the reality that is “chairness”? :wink:

They actually admitted that there were two poison rodent traps in the room. I can easily imagine an Alzheimer’s patient picking one up, getting poison on himself, or actually putting it in his mouth. BIG lawsuit.

It just really creeps me out that rats were present enough that a random patient could just pick one up - dead OR alive. That means the rats were in his room, period. Ewwww!!!

Apartment buildings can have a hell of a time getting rid of rats once the building is infested, so I imagine it would be similarly difficult in an assisted-living facility. You have little control over people leaving food around, etc.

We do have tree rats and roof rats all over SoCal.

IIRC, this facility is fairly new- maybe less than 5 years old?