Elopement in nursing homes is most common amongst residents who suffer from dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and who are on medications (psychotropic drugs) that cause confusion. In order to prevent situations where a resident may elope, it is important for the nursing home to conduct an assessment for every resident. Assessments should trigger the nursing home staff to take precautions.
If a nursing home resident is determined to be a risk for wandering, the following precautions should be in place:
- Door alarms and bed alarms should be installed and in working order
- Staff should monitor all exits of the long-term facility or nursing home
- Keep at-risk residents close to a nursing station or in a high-traffic area to assure many people on the nursing home staff can look after the resident
- Potentially use physical restraints
Incidents of elopement often occur with residents who are the most vulnerable to injuries. Below you will find some recent articles referencing injuries that have occurred following elopement.