Elopement is the unsupervised wandering of a nursing home resident, often off the grounds of the facility. When residents do wander off the grounds, this can be a sign of negligence on the part of the nursing home staff. If a staff member failed to supervise residents properly and categorize them by their likelihood of eloping, a resident is more likely to elope.
The danger of elopement comes from the mental and physical state of the patient. Those residents who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are more at risk for harm because they could easily get lost. Those who are mentally sound but who have physical limitations could fall and hurt themselves without proper supervision.
There is no one reason why residents decide to elope; however, those with mental impairment could mistakenly think they have to get home to take care of an errand or go to the job they have long since retired from.
From 2006 to 2009, the number of reported cases of elopement rose by 38%. However, the single most important way to prevent elopement is proper training and vigilance on the part of the staff. Nursing home staff should understand and keep aware of the habits of the residents. Likewise, they should know about the mental and physical issues each resident has, including the patients with dementia. When elopement takes place, it is often the result of insufficient supervision.
Nursing homes should have exits which are not intended to be operated by nursing home residents. They should either be locked securely or be attached to security alarms. Likewise, if an alarm goes off, staff should be prepared to respond quickly.
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If your loved one eloped as the result of staff negligence, you might be able to file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one. Elopements have led to injuries and untimely death in the past, so there is always a danger when nursing home staff loses track of a resident. Talk to one of our skilled Chicago nursing home injury attorneys about your case today. Pintas & Mullins Law Firm can offer you personalized, quality legal advocacy wherever you are located in the United States. Our lawyers are dedicated to aggressively pursuing the rights of injured parties. Let us see what we can do for you and your loved one.
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