Aspen Creek fined in death of Troy resident
By Pat Pratt
A Troy memory care facility where a resident walked into the cold and died has been cited and fined $4,000 following a state investigation.
In a letter to Aspen Creek of Troy executive director Patricia Lowe, Illinois Department of Public Health Division of Assisted Living and Shared Housing levied the fines and stated what is expected from the facility in the days ahead.
The letter dated Feb. 10 shows the facility was assessed two Type 1 violations of the Assisted Living and Shared Housing Establishment Code following the Jan. 31 death of 77-year-old Kathleen Kinkel of Troy.
The violations are the most serious under the code and are related to harm or death of an individual.
“…the establishment neglected to provide adequate monitoring and supervision to prevent resident elopement for (Kinkel), who began with exit seeking behaviors,” complaint inspection documents read.
Prior to leaving, staff documented that Kinkel was upset and stated she wanted to go home, according to the state’s findings.
For the violations, Aspen Creek will pay $4,000. The facility is also required to file within 15 days of receipt the letter a statement of correction, which will outline actions it plans to take to address the violation.
IDHP states it will then conduct a followup to ensure compliance.
Aspen Creek also has the option to file a statement of dispute within that time frame.
The Times-Tribune outlined the complaint investigation into Kinkel’s death in the Feb. 16 edition. The article is available online here. The investigation showed several missteps by staff, who after hearing a door alarm upon Kinkel’s exit, did not attempt to physically locate her.
Staff members who responded to the alarm stated they did not see any footsteps in the snow. When they looked in Kinkel’s room, they thought she was asleep. During a 5:30 a.m. resident check, staff stated they thought she was in a friends room, but did not check.
Nursing home staff located Kinkel deceased shortly after 8 a.m. the day of her death, in a field about 54 steps from the door she exited about six-hours earlier.
National Weather Service records show the low temperature that day was 11-degrees and occurred in the morning hours.
Kinkel was well-known in the community, having served 26 years as a real estate agent for Century 21 Harrison Group, according to her obituary. She was a member for many years of St. Jerome Catholic Church in Troy.
Slap on the wrist for the fault of a death absolutely fing ridiculous!!!
Poor Kitty!! She was an awesome lady. Had a ton of fun knowing her