Minnesota health officials say operators of a senior living community neglected to check on a resident who had likely been dead for two days.
Workers at the Commons on Marice in Eagan failed to carry out daily checks on 92-year-old June Alice Thompson, according to a report issued by the state Department of Health. Investigators said Thompson could have been dead for two days before her daughter discovered her body at the facility on Oct. 26, The Pioneer Press reported.
Thompson likely died of natural causes, according to the local medical examiner. An investigator narrowed down Thompson's time of death to between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Oct. 24, according to a police report.
Thompson had terminal esophageal cancer and had lived at the facility for more than four years. Thompson could use her own feeding tube and administer her own medications, but she was classified as "assisted living," the police report said.
"Her condition was changing, but she was incredibly intelligent and vibrant, and she was very in tune to what was going on in the world," said Debbie Singer, Thompson's daughter.
Singer found her mother in a reclining chair, wearing clothes from two days prior with a newspaper dated Oct. 24. Singer immediately knew her mother was dead, the state report said.
"I just knew something was wrong because she never missed her daily newspaper," Singer said. "There were all kinds of indications that she didn't die peacefully."
The facility has since implemented a new process to track daily check-ins, said David Salmon, executive director of Commons on Marice.
"Since this incident, we immediately reviewed our existing policies and procedures, and strengthened our process for conducting resident welfare checks," Salmon said. "The care our residents receive is our top priority."