A patient at a Waconia senior care facility died as a result of falls that were due to neglect, the Minnesota Department of Health has determined.

In an investigative report released this week, the department determined that Lighthouse at Waconia had failed to develop a plan to prevent the patient from falling and had not sent her to the hospital promptly enough after she fell while unattended in a bathroom.

That fall was the fourth in a short period at the end of 2012. Although the patient was able to walk that evening, she was taken to the hospital the next day and found to have fractured her pelvis, back and ribs. She later died of complications related to those injuries.

A spokesman for Lighthouse said the center followed the Health Department’s subsequent order to review every patient’s care plan regarding those susceptible to falls and injuries and to make sure they conformed to each patient’s condition. The department took no action in regard to Lighthouse’s license, he added.

In connection with two other incidents also in the report, Lighthouse also dismissed an employee last year who had admitted stealing more than $6,000 using a patient’s ATM card and stealing prescription pain medications.

Shanowa Marie Allen, 27, of Winsted, is facing felony theft charges in connection with the ATM withdrawals and a misdemeanor charge for the drug thefts. She is scheduled to appear in Carver County District Court on May 21.


Staff writer Paul Walsh contributed to this report.