If your loved one wandered away from their nursing home—an act also known as elopement—then they may have suffered injuries because of negligent oversight. According to Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, wandering behavior in nursing homes may even lead to your loved one’s severe injury or death.
If your loved one wandered throughout a nursing home or eloped from the facility, then the nursing home staff may have failed them in a way that could qualify as negligence. Call our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss how a Phoenix wandering and elopement lawyer can help you and your loved one.
Wandering Among the Elderly
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), those who care for the elderly in a nursing home should be trained about how to recognize and safeguard residents who may be prone to wandering and elopement. Wandering behaviors may affect residents suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.
Other nursing home residents may be prone to wandering and elopement and may not be able to provide information to those who might help them. Nursing home administrators and staffers should have precautions in place especially for at-risk patients, including those who may be prone to wander and elope.
Failures to Prevent Wandering Are Not Acceptable
Research in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias
details some patterns that emerged when older adults with dementia eloped from their residences. Apparent precursors for elopement include:
- Failure by those who would care for the wanderer to prevent their flight through proactive precautions, especially when the wanderer had previously displayed a propensity for wandering.
- A general lack of oversight by staffers in residential communities such as nursing homes.
- A failure to implement or utilize alarm devices that could help prevent the flight of the resident.
When you house your loved one in a nursing home, you entrust that the staff at that nursing home will:
- Take good care of your loved one.
- Keep track of your loved one.
- Prevent your loved one from wandering into the general public.
If a nursing home failed to prevent your loved one from wandering, and especially if they allow them to wander outside of the nursing home, then your loved one may have suffered other injuries associated with their elopement.
The Consequences of Wandering and Elopement Can Be Dire
If your loved one is prone to wander, they may also:
- Have dementia or another form of cognitive impairment.
- Have little to no concept of their geographic location, nearby landmarks, or how to get back to their nursing home.
- Not be able to provide names or contact information that would allow others to assist them.
These realities may make your loved one prone to multiple forms of abuse or neglect. These are not pleasant possibilities to consider, but they also underscore the dangers of wandering, and elopement. If you believe that your loved one’s elopement was preventable, then you may have grounds to bring a lawsuit against one or more people associated with the nursing home.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to discuss how a Phoenix wandering and elopement lawyer can help you.
Elopement May Indicate Negligence
Nursing homes, from administrators to direct caregivers, generally must:
- Be aware of individual residents’ mental and physical states.
- Be especially aware of those who have conditions, such as dementia that could lead to wandering and elopement.
- Take precautions to monitor such residents more than they would residents who generally do not pose a risk of wandering.
- Enact non-human safeguards, such as alarms and locked safety doors, to provide multiple levels of protection against residents fleeing the premises.
When these and other precautions do no occur, your loved one could be at a risk of dangerous wandering, elopement, and risks that come with those activities. If you find out that your loved one has wandered a significant distance, including outside of their nursing home, you may take a look at the overall security of your loved one’s nursing home.
For a free legal consultation with a Wandering and Elopement Lawyer serving Phoenix, call (800) 794-0444
Seeking Legal Help to Determine Negligence
Speaking with a law firm may provide you greater insight into:
- The state of potential negligence within your loved one’s nursing home.
- Legal options available to your loved one in the case that they were the victim of one or more forms of negligence.
If you choose to move forward with legal action on behalf of your loved one, then the lawsuit may name one or more defendants. Those who could be responsible for your loved one’s wandering or elopement may include:
- Administrators in charge of security in the nursing home.
- Individual staffers who failed to enact security measures.
- Any other party responsible for nursing home security who failed in their responsibilities.
A Phoenix wandering and elopement lawyer may assist you by helping you determine who to name as defendants in your loved one’s lawsuit, collecting and organizing evidence of negligence, handling all legal responsibilities necessary to complete your lawsuit.
Phoenix Wandering and Elopement Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm Today
Wandering and elopement are extremely serious and may be symptoms of systematic failure in your loved one’s nursing home (or former nursing home). Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today for a free consultation.
We do not shy away from tough cases and aim to prevent your loved one from enduring any more harm than they already have.