Minneapolis care provider found responsible for client death

Published 10:34 pm Thursday, July 26, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS — The death of a resident at a Minneapolis assisted-living facility was the result of neglect and is the second such death at the residence in the last year, according to state investigators.

The Minnesota Health Department’s findings were released this week by the agency’s Office of Health Facilities Complaints, the Star Tribune reported. The Golden Nest failed to properly equip the facility and assess Kum Sun Melcher’s needs, investigators said.

The 76-year-old, who had dementia, walked out of the facility in early March. Video surveillance on the property shows Melcher leaving through the lobby “without outdoor clothing” or her cane, according to the report.

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A nurse noticed she was missing two hours later. Officials found her in a nearby snowbank. Melcher was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center where she later died from extreme hypothermia, according to the county Medical Examiner’s Office.

The agency has ordered Golden Nest to make corrections to prevent another such lapse.

Golden Nest Administrator Hongjoo Lee said the facility has installed a new locking system. Lee declined to say whether the facility will continue to accept clients with dementia.

Lee said she doesn’t agree with Minnesota’s ruling of neglect. She missed the deadline for appealing the findings, but said she’s speaking with an attorney about what other options she has to challenge the findings.

The newspaper’s search of the OHFC’s online database revealed another finding against Golden Nest for neglect. A resident died at the facility last year after falling and suffering from bleeding on the brain. Staff left the resident on the floor for four hours. An employee gave the resident a pillow and a blanket, but failed to contact a nurse.

The resident died three weeks later from the brain injury.