A dementia-stricken woman died after the California senior citizens home she lived in errantly served her dishwashing liquid instead of juice, the home said.
The woman was one of three residents at Atria Park Senior Living Facility in San Mateo rushed to the hospital after they drank the caustic liquid, KRON-TV reported.
The employees involved have been suspended as the home investigates internally and cooperates with local authorities, the facility said.
“We have been working with local authorities, who have informed us that one resident passed away,” Atria said in a statement to the station. “Our sincerest condolences are with the family.”
One source told NBC Bay Area the inedible liquid might have been confused with grape juice.
“There may have been a mistake,’’ the source involved in the investigation told the local NBC affiliate. “A jug of grape juice is what somebody thought they had picked up and poured into glasses, but it was some sort of cleaning fluid.”
The victim’s daughter, Marcia Cutchin, told the local television station her mother Gertrude Elizabeth Murison Maxwell was the dead resident.
She said the senior home told her family the substance given to her mother was an “alkaline cleaning solution that eats protein.”
Maxwell suffers from dementia and was not able to feed herself, Cutchin said. When her mother arrived at the hospital, she had “severe blistering of her mouth and throat and esophagus,” Cutchin said.
“Many people, like my mother, you have to hold a cup to her mouth and tip it into her mouth,” Cutchin told KRON-TV.
The television station reported San Mateo Police were investigating and had no additional information.
Maxwell is survived by eight children and 20 grandchildren.
With Post wires