Local News

Rehab facility has history of patients wandering away

Posted November 14, 2011

— After a man went missing earlier this month from a Raleigh rehab center, leaders there are taking steps to make sure it doesn’t happen again. 

Adam Root's story ended in happy hugs. He wandered away from a Learning Services facility in Raleigh where he was being treated for a severe brain injury. He was found safe five hours later. 

"Accidents happen, and this was just an accident," his wife, Amy Root, said Monday. 

Amy Root met with administrators at Learning Services and learned that he walked out of the front door during a shift change. 

For Bebe Snyder, the story did not have such a happy ending.

"I was so grateful that they were able to find that guy," she said. Her husband, Tim, wandered away a Learning Services center in Durham in 2004. He was missing for four days. 

"He had frozen to death. He was a block and a half away," Bebe Snyder said. 

Tim Snyder's family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Learning Services and settled for $2.5 million. 

"Clearly they did not learn their lesson. Clearly they still have major problems," Bebe Snyder said. "Why are they still in business?"

Amy Root said despite the problem, she will bring her husband back to Learning Services. 

"I know a lot of people aren't going to understand why I am returning, but it's truly one of the best facilities I've ever researched that Adam has ever participated in," she said. "I know that we've made the right decision for my family." 

Amy Root says Learning Services plans to put a device on her husband that will make a sound if he walks out the door. She also says a special bracelet with Adam Root's name will be given to the worker in charge of his care, so that he isn't overlooked during a shift change.

adam root Rehab facility has history of patient trouble

Learning Services President and CEO David Carter said that the company is investigating what occurred with Adam Root but said he could not give specifics on the incident. 

According to state records, Learning Services, which specializes in caring for people with brain injuries, has been investigated multiple times for deficiencies by the Department of Health and Human Services.

The company was fined $2,000 for not responding appropriately when a patient had a seizure and later died its Creedmoor facility. Records show the company was also cited for not properly supervising a patient at its Durham location and for not having a registered nurse on duty at the Raleigh location.

2 Comments

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  • jcrew1979 Nov 15, 1:41 p.m.

    Nope there shouldn't be mistakes andreazweigart. I used to work there and it's a shame this happens. Sometimes there's not a high enough staff/resident ratio b/c people are sorry employees who call out all the time, but that's still no excuse. A lot of the employees are too busy out smoking all the time and leave one employee like me left in the house with all those clients and you better believe I addressed those issues at staff meetings. Memos were sent out about it but nobody obeyed them. They do have ankle bracelets on those who have elopement issues. A few years ago in Durham a resident was upset and went walking one night without staff knowing and ended up lost downtown in Durham and ended up on Holloway Street of all places. He was so lucky nothing horrible happened to him. This happens too much. I guess all who are not completely wheelchair bound need ankle bracelets, whether they have elopement issues or not.

  • andreazweigart Nov 14, 6:45 p.m.

    There shouldn't be mistakes like this in a Nursing Facility dealing w/ patients who have dementia.