83-Year-Old Dementia Sufferer Was Found Frozen to Death Outside Her Care Facility in Sandy, Oregon

CLACKAMAS COUNTY, Ore. — An 83-year-old woman suffering from dementia froze to death outside a care facility in Sandy, Oregon, where she had spent less than 24 hours as an in-house resident. Her family has now filed a lawsuit for wrongful death in the Multnomah County Circuit Court.


Family Calls for Investigation into State-Certified Care Facilities

The family of Ki Soon Hyun, a beloved mother and grandmother, called on Oregon lawmakers to launch an immediate investigation into state-certified facilities to ensure that the elderly receive the secure and safe care services they deserve.


Carers at the Mt. Hood Senior Living Facility Failed to Lock the Doors

Ki Soon Hyun’s frozen, lifeless, body was found in the open half a mile from the Mt. Hood Senior Living facility on December 23, 2023, less than 24 hours after her admittance as an in-house resident. It has been established that the elderly dementia-suffering woman had wandered outside when staff at Mt. Hood failed to securely lock the doors.


Remaining Residents Were Moved to Other Facilities Late on a Rainy Night

The horror of her death from hypothermia took 28 days to fully unfold – that was how long it took before a state licensing team arrived on the scene to investigate the tragedy. Their investigation prompted a decision to immediately move the 13 remaining residents to other facilities, although it was raining and close to midnight.


Testimony Heard by a Panel of Lawmakers

Melissa Fisher told a panel of lawmakers at a hearing earlier this week that the elderly residents who were moved out of Mt. Hood late at night were treated like cattle. Her elderly aunt, Bonnie Everett who suffers from dementia, was one of the 13 residents who was moved. She said her aunt was admitted to another facility which was ill equipped to handle dementia sufferers.

Fisher said the families of the elderly residents who were moved out of Mt. Hood battled to obtain information about their new whereabouts. “I spent an entire weekend searching for her,’ Fisher told the lawmakers.

State-appointed long-term care ombudsman, Fred Steele, has also called for an investigation. He wants an independent audit to be conducted into the division of the Oregon Department of Human Services (ODHS) that regulates and oversees long-term care facilities.

Steele is also calling on lawmakers to evaluate sweeping changes that will prohibit the division from issuing licenses and overseeing regulations at state facilities offering care services to aging and vulnerable adults.

The panel heard that before Hyun’s death, the ODHS was aware that Mt. Hood was understaffed and without an administrator. An email was sent to state licensing officials by an interim administrator who said he/she was not qualified for the job, having only qualified as a bookkeeper/office manager, with no college education or formal medical training and experience. The email was dated November 2023, a month before Hyun’s demise.

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