California resident Costanza Zerbi said she’s furious after seeing disturbing footage of her 84-year-old mother knocking on the door of her locked care facility at 2 a.m.
Costanza told ABC 7 that her mom was sent to the College Medical Center in Long Beach earlier that day when she had a mental breakdown.
She tried to visit her mom at the hospital but was not allowed, so she returned home to her children.
The daughter had no idea her mom, Savina Zerbi, was being released later and returned to her care home, Regency Palms Senior Living facility.
Staff at the hospital told the Press-Telegram that they tried to reach Costanza but were unsuccessful.
Savina was dropped off by a taxi outside the facility, but it was locked because it was in the early morning hours.
The 84-year-old knocked on the door wearing only a robe and sandals, it was around 42 degrees. She later wandered into a dark ally in an attempt to find another entrance.
Savina spent at least 25 minutes outside before got inside. How she entered the facility remains unclear.
The woman’s daughter said that her elderly mother should never have been left outside. She told ABC 7:
“So I picture the fear of being completely lost and in danger multiplied by a million because she is lost and in danger in that street at night.”
She has since filed a complaint against College Medical Center to California’s Department of Public Health. She added:
“Make sure your loved ones are cared for and make sure you know where you’re sending them. I’m really hopeful that hospitals like that are improved.”
College Medical Center said in a statement that Savina chose to use public transport herself. They said, in part:
This particular patient denied College Medical Center’s assistance with transportation and insisted that she be taken to her place of residence via public transportation. College Medical Center timely and properly notified the patient’s family member and the receiving facility where the patient had been residing that the patient was being discharged from the hospital.
Her daughter said the 84-year-old was not in the right state of mind to make those kinds of decisions, as she had threatened to kill herself earlier that day.
Regency Palms Senior Living facility said they were unaware their resident had been discharged and was returning to the center.