An 83-year-old man who disappeared from an Eyre Peninsula aged care facility in South Australia, has died in hospital, after being found alive eight days after he went missing, Adelaide Now has reported.
Cleve District Hospital and Aged Care resident, Jeffery Beaton, was reported as missing on Saturday, October 2, at approximately 9.30pm, only to be found eight days later extremely dehydrated and sunburnt, several kilometres away on Sunday, October 10.
Upon his discovery, Mr Beaton was immediately flown to hospital in Adelaide. Sadly, his wife Carol confirmed her husband passed away on the morning of Monday, October 11, after sustaining “a lot of injuries” during his disappearance.
One of the members of the search party said Mr Beaton “wasn’t in a good way” when he was finally found after more than a week, during which SES volunteers and SA Police undertook an extensive search to find the missing elderly man.
Justin Brumfield, an SES volunteer who participated in the search to locate Mr Beaton, described the conditions as “windy and wet weather” to Adelaide Now.
He continued, “I searched from 11.30pm through to 3am and they said we’ll search again at first light.”
Mr Beaton’s disappearance from the aged care home, which borders residential homes and vacant blocks of land, has raised concerns regarding the safety and security of the facility.
“Residents are free to come and go as they please,” shared a local man to the news outlet, who requested to remain anonymous.
“The facilities are unsecured and not designed to manage dementia patients,” he added.
Meanwhile, SA Health – the operators of the aged care home where Mr Beaton was a resident – has come under the spotlight after refusing to comment or explain how the 83-year-old went missing in their care.
A spokesperson from SA Police explained “no further investigation from the police into the security of the hospital” was being undertaken.