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An 87-year-old woman died recently after a nurse at her independent living home in Bakersfield, California refused a 911 dispatcher’s pleas to perform CPR. Lorraine Bayless collapsed in her dining room in the independent living home that offers many levels of care, before an employee of the facility called 911. A woman who identified herself as a nurse then refused to administer CPR after the dispatcher warned her that the consequences could be dire.
Brookdale Senior Living, the company that owns the facility where Ms. Bayless lived, initially said its employee acted correctly by waiting until emergency personnel arrived, but later claimed the employee had misinterpreted the company’s guidelines. Ms. Bayless’ family said that it was her wish to die naturally, and that she was aware that the independent living home did not offer trained medical staff, but opted to live there anyway.
This disturbing situation should act as a red flag to all residents of independent living facilities, or anyone who is or knows someone who is considering moving into an independent living facility. When investigating independent living facilities, it is important to have a complete understanding of what type of medical care is offered and what is not offered. It is equally as important to know the facility’s guidelines and policies about emergency medical care.
Before making a decision, ask the facility’s director questions about the staffs’ medical training and obtain a copy of the facilities emergency policies. This way you will know whether you or a loved one will receive the kind of care desired.