If your loved one is in a nursing home in Tulsa, you want them to be comfortable and safe around the clock. The thoughts of your elderly relative wandering the streets, getting lost, scared, and cold can be horrifying.
Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for nursing home residents to wander the nursing home or elope from the facility and grounds altogether. Residents with dementia can be particularly vulnerable to eloping, according to a study published in the medical journal, Research and Theory for Nursing Practice.
A senior with cognitive problems may elope and then not find the way back to their nursing home on their own. They could potentially suffer injuries and death if they are not found in a reasonable timeframe.
Why Nursing Home Residents Elope or Wander
According to a study published in the American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, older adults wander because of stress, past lifestyle, and a desire for change. When suffering from dementia, they may also try to slip back into old familiar patterns and head out, thinking they are going to work, for example. Sometimes, new nursing home residents elope as they may not yet have become familiar with their new surroundings and may attempt to “go home.”
In order to avoid future elopement situations, a nursing home should analyze the reason why residents are eloping and wandering, with the view to stop this behavior. The nursing home has the responsibility to monitor residents, ensuring their safety at all times. If your loved one suffered injuries from an elopement or while wandering their nursing home unsupervised, you could have legal recourse. A Tulsa wandering and elopement lawyer might be able to help you. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today and let us determine whether you have a case.
The Dangers of Wandering and Elopement
Wandering and elopement can be extremely dangerous for a senior, especially if they suffer from dementia. While elopement is perhaps seen as more dangerous than a resident wandering the nursing home premises, they both carry dangers. Some of the dangers from wandering the nursing home can be:
- Slips and falls navigating unfamiliar or poorly lit areas.
- Exposure to chemicals or medicines.
While wandering into areas that are off-limits for nursing home residents can expose a senior to a number of dangerous situations around the nursing home facility, elopement is potentially even more serious. Some of the consequences of elopement can be:
- Exposure to inclement weather
- Accidents with traffic
- Slips and falls
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Becoming a victim of crime
- Missing important medication
Injuries from wandering and elopement can be devastating and even fatal for a nursing home resident. The nursing home should take steps to reduce the risk of residents wandering and eloping the facility. If you think the nursing home was negligent in your loved ones’ wandering and elopement incident, consult with a Tulsa wandering and elopement lawyer today and find out about your legal options.
For a free legal consultation with an wandering and elopement lawyer serving Tulsa, call (800) 794-0444
Nursing Home Negligence
The nursing home has the responsibility to keep your loved one safe and supervised, especially if they know that your loved one is likely to wander or elope. The nursing home should have several precautions in place to prevent wandering and elopement as far as possible, including:
The nursing home should ensure residents cannot gain access to any areas of the nursing home that are off-limits to them and could potentially pose a danger. Staff should lock and secure doors. Any doors to the outside should also be locked or alarmed to ensure residents are not eloping.
Sufficient Numbers of Staff
There should be an adequate number of staff to take care of the residents and monitor their whereabouts during the day. Staff should identify the residents with a higher risk for wandering and elopement, and focus on reducing and eliminating wandering behavior.
Keeping residents occupied and stimulated is important. Offering them exercise, for example, can go a long way to remedy any wandering behaviors triggered by boredom or agitation.
Unfortunately, the reality can look different in nursing homes. Facilities can put profit over the well-being of their residents and may not hire enough staff to be able to monitor residents on an ongoing basis. Nursing homes may also lack social activities or opportunities for exercise and outings that can keep seniors engaged and content. The nursing home may also not have invested in any necessary security measures designed to keep all residents safe and supervised at all times.
This is nursing home neglect and is not acceptable. If your loved one has wandered or eloped from a nursing home and got into an accident or suffered any injuries, you could receive compensation. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today to find out how we can help you and your loved one get the justice and compensation you deserve.
Tulsa Wandering and Elopement Lawyer Near Me (800) 794-0444
We Can Fight for You
If your loved one wandered or eloped the nursing home and suffered any adverse health effects and injuries as a result, or died, you might be able to file a personal injury or wrongful death case against the nursing home. You could receive compensation for:
- Medical bills
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical pain
- Emotional suffering
- Funeral costs
You could also receive additional compensation, depending on your case and unique circumstances. In particularly reckless cases of nursing home neglect, you could also receive additional punitive damages, designed to deter the nursing home from committing a similar offense again.
You do not have to take a nursing home on by yourself. Your Tulsa wandering and elopement lawyer can help with all aspects of building your case, as well as fight for you in court. We can advise you on your options and help you decide what is best for you and your loved one. You do not need to worry about any attorney’s fees as we work on contingency only and get paid when we win your case.
Contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm now and find out how we can fight for your rights.