Elderly Alzheimer’s Patient ‘Dumped’ By Hospital Outside Locked Care Facility At 2:00 AM, Family Says

An 84-year-old woman with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia was “dumped” outside a locked care facility, and left to wander around the neighborhood for an hour, her family says.

As CNN reports, Savina Genoese Zerbi, 84, spent the night recently in the emergency room at the College Medical Center in Long Beach, California, after making suicidal statements. After being discharged from the emergency room, she was sent via a cab back to the care facility where she lived, the Regency Palms assisted living facility.

Ms. Zerbi, who according to her daughter has the mental capacity of a toddler, was dropped off at the door wearing a bathrobe and sandals and carrying a large envelope, at 2:15 a.m., as the cab drove away. The door was locked, and Ms. Zerbi banged on it for a while without getting an answer, as seen on security camera. She then was caught by another security camera walking away and apparently pacing up and down a dark alley for an hour. At about 3:00 a.m., she returns to the care facility and is this time let through the door.

It is unclear, as of this writing, who let her in, and why no one answered the door the first time.

Her daughter, Constanza Zerbi, says via KPLC-TV (Lake Charles, Louisiana) that the care facility should have done better.

“She cannot be alone. So, Regency Palms is very aware of her condition, and they have acted to protect her.”

She also wants to know why the hospital sent an Alzheimer’s patient home in a cab, in the wee hours of the morning, without notifying anyone.

“The hospital did nothing to ensure – we even told them she has Alzheimer’s.”

The hospital, for its part, claims that it complied with all laws and policies regarding the treatment of patients such as Ms. Zerbi. The hospital claims that “a relative” and the care facility were notified when Zerbi was discharged. Further, the hospital claims that an offer to help Ms. Zerbi with transportation was made, but that she turned it down and opted for a cab instead.

In the meantime, the hospital says it plans to meet with Constance on February 11 to discuss her concerns.

Constance Zerbi, for her part, has filed a complaint with California regulators. She has no intention of suing, she says, but that she merely wants to bring awareness to what happened to her mother that night