Jun 22, 2010

Man with Alzheimer's Dies after Drinking Detergent

By Bob DeMarco
Alzheimer's Reading Room

State officials want a South Florida assisted living facility fined after one of its residents died from drinking dishwasher detergent.

Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration filed a complaint last month, asking an administrative law judge to fine the Homewood Residence at Delray Beach $10,000 for failing to maintain a safe environment. Officials say 93-year-old Michael Gruen was in the late stages of Alzheimer's Disease when he poisoned himself in December.

A spokeswoman for the facility's parent company said there was no way staff could have predicted the events that led to Gruen's death. She said the device holding the detergent was under the kitchen sink, and Gruen had to disconnect the hoses to get to the fluid.

A hearing is scheduled for July 2.


There is a lesson to be learned here. Alzheimer's patients are prone to put things in their mouth -- any thing. Some of them will climb up on chairs to get at things like food. While it is impossible to cover everything, this example shows that you have to think ahead when it comes to Alzheimer's patients. Nevertheless, it is impossible to be "perfect". You just do the best you can under the circumstances.

See -- A Guide to Safe Guarding Your Home

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Bob DeMarco is the editor of the Alzheimer's Reading Room and an Alzheimer's caregiver. Bob has written more than 1,565 articles with more than 8,000 links on the Internet. Bob resides in Delray Beach, FL.

Original content Bob DeMarco, the Alzheimer's Reading Room