When Maynell Scott, an 81-year-old Brac native suffering from Alzheimer’s, wandered away from an assisted living home in Tampa, he had been known for wandering away and should have been wearing a GPS tracking device, according to a report by Florida officials.
Mr. Scott’s body was found four days later in a lake about a half-mile from the Belvedere Commons facility where he lived. Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, responsible for overseeing assisted living homes, released the critical report last week on the investigation into Mr. Scott’s death and failures at Belvedere Commons. The agency faulted the facility for not following its own policies for resetting alarms on exit doors and searching for a missing resident. The report notes that Mr. Scott had walked away from the facility before and should have been wearing a Safety Net GPS tracker, but the wellness director did not know about the earlier incident.
The report states, “The facility failed to follow its own elopement policy and procedure, including maintenance of exits and alarms, and notification of staff, family, and law enforcement.” The failures, the report notes, led to Mr. Scott “leaving the facility and directly contributed to his death.”
Mr. Scott had made his way through the facility’s doors before and walked away. Even before he moved to Tampa, when he returned to the Brac for 10 years after his retirement, he was known for walking away, according to his cousin Raymond Scott. Raymond Scott said his cousin had been found several times walking away from his home on the Brac.
Mr. Scott’s daughters moved him to the assisted living home when his Alzheimer’s got worse, according to Raymond Scott.
One of Mr. Scott’s daughters, Kathy McDonald, told the Tampa Bay Times that the family has retained an attorney over the death. By text message, she told the newspaper, the “actions of Belvedere Commons that led to our father’s death are unforgivable.”