Wandering (also referred to elopement) refers to a cognitively impaired person moving about a nursing home or long-term care facility without appreciation for where they are going. In some cases of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s or dementia, they may attempt to leave the facility.
A nursing home resident’s propensity to wander / elope should be identified in an initial care plan and preventative measures should be implemented by the facility.
How Nursing Homes Can Prevent Patients From Wandering From Their Facility
Common preventative measures include:
- Provide an adequate number of staff to supervise residents
- Train nursing home staff on how to identify wanders
- Use bed, wheelchair or door alarms
- Re-direct patients who are wandering
- Utilize door and window alarms
Nursing Home Liability For Wandering-Related Injuries & Death
Nursing homes must acknowledge the risks associated with patient wandering and elopement and take steps to minimize incidents from occurring in the first place. When facilities fail to implement preventative measures, they may be held responsible for the resulting patient injuries. Our nursing home attorneys know the feeling of guilt that may arise after a loved one suffers an injury at a facility and always take steps to minimize the impact on you and the rest of your family while aggressively pursuing the case. If your loved one was injured after leaving the safety of a skilled nursing facility, we are interested in speaking to you. Our attorneys know how to prosecute nursing home wandering cases and look forward to doing so for you. Call us anytime to discuss your legal options.