THE death of a ‘much-loved’ care home resident at the age of 107 has been recorded as accidental, an inquest heard.

John Gittins, senior coroner for North Wales (east and central), conducted the hearing at Denbighshire County Hall into the death of the late Rita Evans, affectionately known by many as ‘Nanny Evans’.

The inquest was told how Mrs Evans had lived at Chirk Court Residential Home, an assisted living facility in Wrexham, for almost a decade leading up to her death on June 7 of this year.

The hearing was told how Mrs Evans was found by care home staff lying across her bed in the early hours of the morning.

A statement made by her daughter Marian Pearce was read out at the hearing in Ruthin and recounted that the 107-year-old had lived in the care facility since February 2010 and that a decision had been made due to her age and other family medical problems that prevented care at home.

The statement explained that her family believed Rita had ‘reasonably good mobility considering her age’ and this ‘had not changed in the past few years’ – stating that Mrs Evans walked with the aid of a frame and was ‘rather independent’.

Mrs Pearce’s statement told the inquest how her mother had first moved to Chirk from South Wales in 1941 with her husband Gwyn Thomas Evans. The couple had four children before Gwyn’s passing in 1963 – at which point Rita began working in the kitchens of the Hand Hotel and then Brynkinalt Hall until she was 73.

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The inquest was heard at Denbighshire County Hall, Ruthin

Nanny Evans took ‘great pride’ in her large family that spanned five generations – including 10 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and 10 great great-grandchildren.

The inquest was told how Mrs Evans had sustained a facial injury from a previous fall earlier in the year in the early hours of the morning on January 11. This happened when she came out of her bathroom, fell and banged her face on the base of the bed.

The next record of a fall came on May 29 of this year where Mrs Evans was discovered by Vanessa Cruz, a carer at Chirk Court for 10 years, lying across her bed with her mobility frame on top of her in the early hours of the morning at around 6.30am.

Representatives from Chirk Court were asked to attend the inquest to give evidence, including Ms Cruz, a carer who had worked with Mrs Evans for many years.

The coroner said that, in the latest incident, it appeared Mrs Evans had fallen backwards when attempting to mobilise with her walking frame to which Ms Cruz agreed but could not confirm as this fall was unwitnessed.

Ms Cruz went on to tell the inquest how she took Mrs Evans to use the bathroom, as well as getting her dressed and washed for the day.

During this time, no injuries were found by Ms Cruz, who said that she and Mrs Evans had become very good friends, saying she felt more like a family member than a resident.

Mrs Evans was then taken to the communal lounge area by Ms Cruz – where she was walking herself with the aid of her frame and made no complaints of pain.

Ms Cruz then told the inquest how Mrs Evans fell backwards when attempting to sit in her preferred lounge chair. Her carer was thankfully close enough to react and catch Mrs Evans by her shoulders to prevent the fall from being more severe.

Colleagues were called to assist Ms Cruz and noted her patient’s distress which was said to come from the confusion of the fall and her wanting to get off the floor.

Upon moving her to a chair, Mrs Evans began shaking and presented with seizure symptoms.

The inquest heard that paramedics were called to attend and how Ms Cruz tried to keep Mrs Evans responsive and from drifting off to sleep until help arrived. Her family was also informed at this stage.

Paramedic assessments found a lump on the back of Mrs Evans head which Ms Cruz tells the inquest could not have happened on the witnessed fall.

She enquired with paramedics about the earlier incident where Mrs Evans was found with her walking frame on top of her and lying across the bed and if it was possible that she had struck her head here. She told the inquest that paramedics came and checked the bedroom and determined that it was ‘feasible’ that Mrs Evans could have hit her head on the bedside cabinet or lowered bedside rails.

CT scans conducted at the Maelor Hospital confirm subdural hematoma.

The inquest heard that Mrs Evans remained in hospital where she was displaying long periods of drowsiness and confusion and also required more assistance when getting out of bed.

She was later discharged on June 3 and returned to the Chirk Court and passed away peacefully on June 7.