Report: Staff member was asleep when resident at Minnetonka memory care facility fell, fractured leg

A resident at a memory care facility in Minnetonka, Minnesota fell and injured herself in the middle of the night while the staff member assigned to watch her was asleep on the job, a report released Wednesday by the state Department of Health concluded. The resident later died from complications from her fall-related injury. 

The department’s Office of Health Facility Complaints concluded in its investigation that a newly hired staff member at Augustana Emerald Crest was responsible for neglect when a resident with Alzheimer’s fell while wandering the common area and fractured her femur, which required surgery. The resident died 19 days later from complications of decreased mobility due to her leg fracture. 

The report said the resident woke up most nights and required supervision because she would wander the facility and had a history of falls. 

In the incident report completed by the staff member, she said she was working on her laptop in the chair next to the resident and did not realize the resident had gotten up until she said, “I can’t get up, help me.” 

The resident had been wandering the common area when she fell, according to the health department report. Surveillance video of the area showed the staff member was on the sofa in the common room asleep at the time. 

In an interview with heath department investigators, the staff member said she had been under stress recently and admitted she might have dozed off.