93-Year-Old Dies After 'Mistakenly Being Served Dishwashing Liquid' At Living Facility

The woman was one of three people who were rushed to the hospital after consuming the liquid.

A 93-year-old resident at a California home for older adults has died after reportedly drinking dishwashing liquid that appeared to be juice over the weekend, according to officials.

The woman was among three residents at Atria Park Senior Living Facility in San Mateo located in the Hillsdale neighborhood who was rushed to the hospital on Sunday after “mistakenly being served dishwashing liquid as drinking juice,” the facility told KRON-TV in a statement.

“We have been working with local authorities, who have informed us that one resident passed away. Our sincerest condolences are with the family,” Atria Park added.

Marcia Cutchin told KRON-TV the woman was her mother, Gertrude Maxwell, and that Maxwell suffered from dementia and was unable to feed herself.

“Many people, like my mother, you have to hold a cup to her mouth and tip it into her mouth,” Cutchin told the news outlet.

Cutchin also claimed her mother had “severe blistering of her mouth and throat and esophagus” when she arrived at the hospital.

The substance reportedly given to Maxwell, who is survived by eight children and 20 grandchildren, was an “alkaline cleaning solution that eats protein,” Cutchin said.

The San Mateo Police Department confirmed the incident Monday night on Facebook.

Officials were dispatched to the care facility around 8:10 p.m., and “began a comprehensive investigation and learned three home care residents were hospitalized after ingesting toxic chemicals,” authorities said on Facebook.

“Tragically, one of the three residents, a 93-year-old female, was pronounced deceased at a local hospital,” authorities added. “SMPD Detectives are actively investigating this case jointly with the California Department of Social Services Ombudsman, and Atria Hillsdale is cooperating with this investigation.”

The facility has confirmed that “the employees involved have been suspended until this investigation concludes,” People reports.

“We will continue working with the police and Department of Social Services to fully review and assess the incident, after which we will take additional actions as needed,” Atria Park said in a statement. “The safety and well-being of our residents remain our top priorities at all times.”

In March 2021, an official investigation was launched over the Atria facility lacking sufficient staff to meet residents’ needs. The report also detailed multiple incidents of the staff not being “qualified” to provide nursing care.

HuffPost has reached out to Atria Park Senior Living Facility for comment.

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