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Swedish man lay 'dead for weeks' in Lund flat

The Local/og · 14 Feb 2012, 15:59

Published: 14 Feb 2012 15:59 GMT+01:00

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The man had been dead for several weeks when he was finally found after neighbours reported a strong smell emanating from the stairwell.

“We have been there and rung the door bell, but he never opened. We made the mistake of not checking why he never answered,” said Karin Mars of the local authorities in Lund .

The staff should visit their patients twice a week, but according to a lex Sarah report, a law obliging staff in the care industry to report instances of mistreatment to the social services, the care staff had simply not followed up on unanswered efforts.

In the end it was the care personnel who discovered the body, after using a spare key to enter the building, according to Sveriges Television (SVT).

“Apparently, the staff have not been adequately informed of our practices,” said Seth Pettersson, head of nursing and care management in Lund, to SVT.

“One can conclude that we have failed. Staff should report if they do not make contact with the patient and this has not happened,” said Pettersson.

However, Petterson does not link the death to the failed attempts to visit the man, adding that this was ‘a very long drawn conclusion’.

Story continues below…

Petterson claimed that the municipality was tightening its procedures after the incident.

The cause of death is still unknown, and interviews are being carried out by relevant staff, according to the TT news agency.

The Local/og (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:21 February 14, 2012 by matona1
R I P papa
19:29 February 14, 2012 by bethrichardson
Matona, this was your father? I am so sorry for your loss. I hope you and your family can find the peace and comfort you need during this difficult time.
22:57 February 14, 2012 by J Jack
The man passed by no fault of the care staff, but sadly and disrespectfully had to remain undiscovered for too long. All the staff and their bosses handling his case should be immediately dismissed and banned from working in the care industry. There is no logical excuse for not reporting and following up on a missing person.
12:35 February 15, 2012 by soultraveler3
It's sad, but this is just another case of Swedish incompetence, lack of caring and nobody taking responsibility with their job.

People were paid to come and check on, visit and take care of this man's needs twice per week. It's obvious that the man was unable to take of himself in some ways or he wouldn't have needed their services.

The fact that the "care staff" didn't find it odd or alarming when he didn't answer the door the first time is disturbing. It seems that they were either too stupid to realize that this could possibly mean that the man was in trouble, didn't care enough to do anything about or didn't think it was part of their job responsibility.

It's bothersome to think that someone could be so uncaring, stupid or lazy, especially when that person's job it to look after someone in need.

It happens all the time here though.
12:52 February 15, 2012 by Snöregn
It's easy to blame the care staff, but what about family? How does one not check on their family members by at least a phone call once a week, especially if they are "under care"?

Dead for "several weeks" is NOT ok!
13:25 February 15, 2012 by Rishonim
@Snöregn, agree with you 100%.
17:39 February 17, 2012 by ann2
My father-in-law had great home care -- wonderful worker, really helped with the house and even said it wasn't as bad as most places she visited. Terrific dedicated woman, called my husband very early one morning to settle an issue, we were very fortunate. Think highly of the care my father-in-law received, so grateful they could be there.
19:14 February 17, 2012 by SuperTulle
@Snöregn: Maybe he didn't have an immediate family who cared about him? There are lots of old people out there who never married or had children, or have their relatives in another city.
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