Family claims woman froze to death outside Colorado Springs assisted living home; State suspends license

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COLORADO SPRINGS — A family in Colorado Springs said their elderly friend froze to death outside of her assisted living facility on Monday, February 10.

The El Paso County Coroner’s office confirmed 89-year-old, Margarita Sams, was found dead outside of the Union Printers Home. They stated the autopsy and official cause of death won’t be available for another 2 to 4 weeks.

Union Printers Home address is 101 S Union Boulevard in Colorado Springs.

Residents living at Union Printers Home received a letter Tuesday informing them that as of February 11, the Assisted Living Residence and the Nursing Care Facility licenses were suspended.

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDPHE), there have been numerous complaints and subsequent investigations at Union Printers Home in the past few years, most notably after a recent resident death. Findings from those investigations demonstrate that Union Printers do not have the ability to provide consistently safe care to their residents.

The CDPHE said the Union Printers Home was unable to maintain compliance with state and federal regulations, resulting in substandard care for its residents.

All residents must be transferred by March 27 to other nursing facilities and the CDPHE said they’d work to find an appropriate placement. They plan to have meetings with the residents to discuss the relocation process and choices for a new facility.

“I understand that a transition of this nature is difficult and this decision was not made lightly. Your safety and welfare is the number one priority,” said Director Randy Kuykendall, Division Director of Health Facilities and Emergency Medical Services Division.

FOX21 also requested for the official police report from the Colorado Springs Police Department and are waiting to hear back.

FOX21 reached out to the Union Printers Home a few times for a comment on the death but have yet to hear back.

A family friend of Sams, Teresa, told FOX21 that Sams was found frozen to death Monday morning around 11 a.m. by the maintenance man. Teresa said Sams was found unresponsive and frozen.

The CDPHE said they acted swiftly and decisively to close Union Printers Home to protect the welfare of its residents and will remain involved until all residents have safe placement at another health care facility.

Click here to find and compare facilities on Colorado’s Department of Public Health & Environment website.

FOX21 is working to learn more about this situation and will have another update.

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