Families place their loved ones in nursing homes to ensure that they receive the care and supervision that they cannot provide for them. They have certain expectations that their elderly loved ones will receive proper nutrition, hydration, medical care, and even social interaction. Additionally, nursing homes provide an environment in which an elderly person can receive the proper attention and supervision they need in a controlled environment. The last thing that any family expects is that their loved one will have the opportunity to wander off from the nursing home.
If your loved one received injuries or losses as a result of wandering or eloping from a Fort Worth nursing home, connect with a Fort Worth wandering and elopement lawyer from Pintas & Mullins Law Firm. Call (800) 842-6336 today to talk with a team member about your case.
Wandering and Elopement from Nursing Homes
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) indicates that patients that wander or elope from nursing homes can result in serious dangers or even death to residents. There are several reasons which would cause an elderly resident to attempt to leave a nursing home on their own reconnaissance and attempt to navigate the outside world alone. Some of the more common reasons for wandering and elopement from nursing homes include the following:
Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Many elderly residents of nursing homes suffer from neurocognitive decline, causing them to remain confused about their environment. In some cases, an elderly resident may simply see a door and try to walk through it. In other cases, a resident that suffers from a cognitive disorder such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia may suddenly believe they need to go to work, feed their pet, or visit a family member.
These elderly residents simply do not understand that they are even living in a nursing home and cannot process or understand that they are not supposed to leave for their own safety. While every resident of a nursing home should receive proper monitoring and supervision, those residents that suffer from any kind of neurocognitive decline should receive special attention in order to ensure that they do not wander or elope from the nursing home.
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Frustration with Circumstances
In other cases, elderly residents of nursing homes without any cognitive decline are simply frustrated with their circumstances. Many elderly seniors simply do not want to be in a nursing home. They may feel resentful or angry at their situation or the fact that their family placed them in a nursing home. As a result, these seniors may seek opportunities to elope or wander from their nursing homes. All residents of nursing homes should receive proper supervision so that wandering off unsupervised never occurs.
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Nursing Home Supervision of Elderly Residents
Nursing homes have a legal and moral duty to ensure that nursing home residents never wander from the premises. Some fundamental ways that a nursing home can easily prevent residents from wandering off include:
- Having a complete system in place for visitors and guests to sign in and out.
- Have all doors and windows locked at all times.
- Make sure that any elderly resident that may prove to be an elopement risk receive a room placement on a second floor or away from any external doors.
- Provide complete supervision of all residents at all times.
- Make sure that any activities that involve a lot of seniors at once have enough supervision to avoid one slipping out of a door unnoticed.
- Make sure that the employees take a headcount periodically throughout the day of all nursing home residents.
- Ensure that all residents have their needs met so that they do not feel compelled to leave the facility for any reason.
- Perform routine inspections and drills regarding wandering and elopement.
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Nursing Home Negligence
According to the Journal of Advanced Nursing, wandering and elopement are some of the most challenging behaviors to manage in a nursing home setting. Be that as it may, nursing homes still have a duty and responsibility to ensure that their residents always remain supervised and safe. No senior should ever have the opportunity to leave the premises of a nursing home unsupervised or without permission. If a nursing home resident does wander or elope, they may face serious physical harm or even death.
A nursing home has a responsibility to ensure the care of all of their residents at all times. If your elderly loved one was a resident of a nursing home and suffered injuries or even death as a result of their wandering or elopement from the facility, a Fort Worth wandering and elopement lawyer at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can help you understand your legal rights.
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A Fort Worth Wandering and Elopement Lawyer Can Help
Many families struggle with the emotional and financial decision of placing their loved one in a nursing home. However, in the end, they make the difficult decision to ensure that their elderly family member receives the proper medication, nutrition, daily interaction, and supervision they need for a better quality of life. However, if a nursing home fails in its most basic duty to supervise and secure their residents for their own protection, and a resident wanders or elopes from the facility unsupervised, horrific injuries can occur.
If your loved one suffered any injuries or losses as a result of wandering or eloping from a nursing home unsupervised, talk to our legal team today and find out how a Fort Worth wandering and elopement lawyer can help you hold the nursing home accountable for their negligence. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 842-6336.