Park Rapids Nursing Home Under Investigation After Family Claims Negligence
Bev Thielen’s kids describe her as happy and someone who loved her family and those who took care of her at the Heritage Living Center in Park Rapids. Bev lost her life earlier this month, and now her son claims that a fall at the living center contributed. He says the staff at the center did not properly document and report the fall and that Bev went at least an hour without medical attention.
“They figure one of three things happened. Either she got herself out of bed, which would be physically impossible because of her weakness and she fell. Or a aide was taking her probably to the bathroom and she fell, or they put her on the toilet and they left her, which we had caught them doing before,” says Jeffery Thielen.
Bev received large bruises from her head down to her legs and all over her arms due to the fall. She suffered from dementia and Alzheimer’s. She passed away five days after the fall.
“The large bruise on her left temple was a minimum [size] of a large plum and after she wasn’t able to speak or swallow – they had maybe mentioned a hemorrhagic stroke,” says Jeffery.
The Park Rapids Police Department has confirmed that the incident is under investigation, although they say they can not comment because it is ongoing. Jeffery Thielen also says Heritage Living Center launched their own investigation, but no one claimed to be in Bev’s room the night of the incident. Thielen also contacted the Minnesota Department of Health for an investigation.
Jeffery says of the investigator, “She indicated to me that there were several laws and regulations that had been violated and that they would be sending a team up to investigate.”
MDH could not confirm or deny that an investigation was ongoing with Heritage Living Center. A death certificate for Bev was issued and listed her death as natural due to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Jeffery says he will not accept this until a full investigation is complete. He says he hopes his story brings awareness.
“The families who have loved ones in here have a right to know that something happened. I said, ‘you don’t need to name names, you don’t need to go into great detail, just let them know that an incident happened and it’s under investigation because we felt that they had a right to know,’” says Jeffery.
Lakeland News contacted Heritage Living Center for comment. Executive director, Kurt Hansen, issued this statement:
I have been working in senior care for many years and losing a resident is always very sad. We understand that this is a very difficult time for the family, and we extend our deepest sympathies.
Let me share what I can with you, which is limited due to privacy practices.
We immediately reported this situation to the Minnesota Office of Health Facilities Complaints, according to state regulations and our own policies. We also immediately started our own investigation.
Currently, we are continuing our internal investigation and actively following state agency guidance. We‘ve also partnered with local authorities.
I cannot discuss any further details with you. I would encourage you to contact the OHFC, the Hubbard County Sheriff and the Park Rapids Police regarding their reports, which will be public information.