Iowa funeral director finds woman pronounced dead alive inside body bag


An Iowa Alzheimer’s care facility is facing a $10,000 fine after pronouncing a woman dead who was later found alive when a funeral director unzipped her body bag, according to documents from the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals.

The 66-year-old woman, who has not been identified, was admitted to the Glen Oaks Alzheimer’s Special Care Center facility in Urbandale, Iowa, on Dec. 20, due to “senile degeneration of the brain,” according to the documents. She was admitted to hospice on Dec. 28.

On Jan. 3, according to the report, “At 6:00 a.m. Resident #1’s mouth was open, her eyes were fixed, and there were no breath sounds. [The nurse] could not locate Resident #1’s apical pulse using her stethoscope. She placed her hand on Resident #1’s abdomen and noted no movement.” According to records, the family was contacted and a funeral home was called.

Neither the nurse nor the funeral director, who came from Ankeny Funeral Home and Crematory to pick the woman up, reported no signs of life at around 7:38 am.

“At approximately 8:26 a.m., funeral home staff unzipped the bag and observed Resident #1’s chest moving and she gasped for air. The funeral home then called 911 and hospice,” the state report said.

She was found breathing but unresponsive after being taken to the emergency room. She was later returned to the hospice on Jan. 3. a report said.

The situation was reported by the facility to the Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals (DIA) on Jan. 4.

The woman later died at Glen Oaks the next day, family was by her side.

DIA issued the violation, “Based on interview and record review, the licensee failed to provide adequate direction to ensure appropriate care and services were provided.”


  1. Yes, they are liable for NOT checking to make sure she was not breathing. Before being too quick to call funeral and Crematory. Which shows a like of care and concern for the neither the family. They should file lawsuit against Nurse and Facility. 🤦🏽‍♀️


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