SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. — Wisconsin has ordered an assisted living facility to stop taking new residents after an elderly woman with dementia was found frozen to death outside late last year.

Faith Gardens in Sun Prairie was also fined $4,200, the Wisconsin State Journal reported . Alice McGaw was discovered dead outside the facility in December when temperatures were below 10 degrees.

McGaw had been transferred to the facility in October after she rolled her wheelchair out of another assisted living facility and was almost hit by a car.

“The family decided to be pro-active and look for a smaller facility, and with winter coming they wanted a more secure environment,” according to a state Department of Health Services inspection report released Monday.

Faith Gardens didn’t have a front-door alarm, left an inside door propped open and failed to check on the 84-year-old frequently enough, the report said. McGaw’s care plan also required she wear an alarm bracelet, but the facility didn’t employ the bracelet system, the report found.

The facility cannot accept new residents until the violations are corrected. The only sanction more serious is having a license revoked.

Faith Gardens officials didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment.

There are huge regulation gaps when it comes to assisted living facilities, according to a U.S. Government Accountability Office report released Monday. Many states don’t have information about abuse, neglect or unexplained deaths at facilities, the agency said.

Wisconsin has nearly 4,200 assisted living facilities, which can accommodate more than 59,000 people.


Information from: Wisconsin State Journal, http://www.madison.com/wsj