84-year-old woman spends hours in the cold after being locked outside care facility in just her bathrobe
Surveillance videos show Savina Genoese Zerbi in bathrobe and sandals trying to get into the Regency Palms assisted care facility around 2 am on January 13
A resident of Long Beach has alleged that her mother, who suffers from Alzheimer's, was locked outside the care facility where she lives in the middle of the night after being discharged from a hospital.
84-year old Savina Genoese Zerbi’s daughter says staff at College Medical Center discharged her and put her in a cab for a ride back to the Regency Palms care facility around 2 am on January 13.
However, when her mother reached the facility, she found it locked, and footage has now surfaced showing the patient desperately trying to get into the building. While it is unknown how long Savina was outside, surveillance footage shows that she was left wandering outside for roughly 25 mins in the middle of the night.
“It blows my mind that a hospital can put someone who has Alzheimer’s into a taxi and send her back to a memory care facility that she is unfamiliar with,” said the woman’s daughter, Costanza Genoese Zerbi, according to the Long Beach Press-Telegram. She also said that what they did was absolutely wrong and that the facility had put her mother's life in jeopardy.
According to the KTLA, Costanza said that the 84-year-old with dementia was originally taken in for a psychological evaluation to the College Medical Center on January 12 after she had threatened suicide. After rushing to the hospital to see her mother, and spending several hours there, Costanza returned home to check on her family.
According to People, a statement which was received from the College Medical Center said: “This particular patient denied College Medical Center’s assistance with transportation and insisted that she be taken to her place of residence via public transportation.” But how does one pay for a cab when her dementia affects her thinking, asked Costanza.
Costanza also told KTLA that she was horrified and spoke about her mom's condition saying, "My mom has a hard time piecing together anything. She thinks something that happened yesterday happened 10 years ago; she thinks something that happened 10 years ago happened today."
Costanza has filed a complaint against the College Medical Center with the California Department of Public Health. The state agency in a statement to the Press-Telegram said that it could not comment further until an investigation is completed and that it "investigates all complaints or facility-reported incidents which may violate any state law or regulation within CDPH’s authority to enforce."
Costanza said that she is hopeful that the agency will take immediate action, and told the Press-telegram that, “Whoever decided my mother was safe to make decisions for herself should not have a medical license."
She went on to say that a hospital can’t walk away from a patient until the patient is actually with a responsible person. "Putting her in public transportation is not taking responsibility for her," Costanza said.