Wandering or elopement from a nursing home by an elderly resident occurs when a resident remains unsupervised and independently leaves the nursing home alone without authorization. This type of event should never happen, as nursing homes have a duty and responsibility to ensure that their elderly residents remain monitored at all times under the Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987.
If your elderly loved one wandered or eloped from a nursing home and suffered any kind of injury, or even death, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm to help determine how to hold the nursing home accountable for their actions with a Forest Park wandering and elopement lawyer.
Wandering and Elopement from Nursing Homes
An elderly resident may become confused and believe that they need to leave the nursing home and will therefore wander or elope from the nursing home without supervision. In other cases, a resident simply feels frustrated that they must remain in a nursing home and attempt to leave. Ultimately, several reasons may prompt wandering or elopement in a nursing home.
In some cases, elderly residents may suffer from cognitive decline and medical conditions such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. In an instant, they may believe that they are 30 years old and need to go visit a friend, feed their dog, or go to work. These cognitive mental disorders often lead a family to make the decision to place their elderly loved one in a nursing home in the first place, to ensure that they receive constant monitoring and do not make poor choices based on their mental decline.
Every nursing home should have a care plan for each individual resident. If an elderly resident receives a diagnosis or shows symptoms of dementia or other cognitive dysfunction, their specific care plan should indicate that they need additional monitoring to prevent any wandering or elopement possibilities. Residents that have dementia live at an increased risk of elopement or wandering simply because they now live in an environment unfamiliar to them from their previous life. Any change in patterns, routines, schedules, or even medications may prompt an elderly resident with cognitive dysfunction to attempt to wander away from the nursing home facility.
For those residents that have mental clarity, they may want to elope or wander away from the nursing home simply because they resent placement in a nursing home by their families. Some seniors feel trapped or confined against their will and become bitter and angry. These residents look for ways to leave the nursing home facility for a bit of freedom. If an elderly resident leaves a nursing home, they may suffer injuries from vehicles or simply by being out too long in terrible weather conditions. In other cases, they may slip and fall or be in an accident that causes death. Even if an elderly resident does not have any cognitive dysfunction, measures should ensure that absolutely no resident ever leaves the nursing home facility without prior approval, authorization, and monitoring.
A nursing home may take preventative measures in order to ensure that no elderly resident wanders off from the premises or elopes. Some preventative measures should include the following:
- Having a sign-in/sign-out book for any visitor so that when any person attempts to leave the nursing home, they must either turn in a badge or sign out.
- Placing residents at a higher risk for elopement far away from doors or on higher floors.
- Making sure that doors and windows are always locked and that residents remain unable to leave their rooms through the window without an alarm sounding.
- Making sure that all activities are supervised carefully and done away from doors and windows so that no elderly resident may sneak out unnoticed.
- Checking on all residents visually throughout the day and taking head counts.
- Making sure to provide extra monitoring to those residents that seem uncharacteristically agitated or mentally frustrated with their current environment.
- Ensuring that all residents have their basic needs met, such as food, water, and going to the bathroom so that they do not attempt to get up themselves and wander or elope from the facility.
- Performing proactive drills reenacting a scenario if an elderly resident decided to wander or elope from the building.
If your elderly loved one wanders or elopes from a nursing home, you may have a case for nursing home negligence.
For a free legal consultation with a Wandering and Elopement Lawyer serving Forest Park, call (800) 794-0444
Nursing Home Negligence
Nursing home staff employees have a very specific duty to ensure that their residents remain safe and do not wander from the nursing home unsupervised for any reason. Even if your loved one’s nursing home has a plan in place to find the resident that wandered off and ultimately manage the crisis, the nursing home administration must remain accountable for their negligence.
Forest Park Wandering and Elopement Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
Consider a Forest Park Wandering and Elopement Lawyer
Oftentimes, when an elderly resident of a nursing home wanders or elopes from the nursing home, they ultimately suffer injuries due to their elopement. Your loved one may face astronomical medical bills, continued therapy, diagnostic testing, life-long medical conditions, paralysis, depression, anxiety, and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Your elderly loved one has a right to receive proper monitoring and care during their stay in a nursing home. Any nursing home that failed to provide the proper care for your elderly loved one remains negligent in its duty and responsibility to care and supervise its residents. If your elderly loved one suffered injuries, or even death, due to their elopement or wandering from a nursing home, find out how a Forest Park wandering and elopement lawyer may be able to assist you by calling Pintas & Mullins Law Firm.