Wandering and Elopement as Nursing Home Neglect
Wandering and elopement occur when a patient is left unsupervised, and it is a very dangerous form of neglect on the part of caretakers. Many nursing home residents suffer from Alzheimers disease and dementia, and it is not uncommon for individuals with these conditions to become disoriented by their surroundings or attempt to leave the facility.
Did negligent caretakers allow your loved one to wander?
You have the right to hold the facility responsible for the negligence of its staff and to file a claim for damages that arose out of your loved ones elopement.
The Dangers of Wandering
Wandering is the result of inadequate nursing home intervention techniques. It is a basic type of nursing home neglect that affects a very specific group of people.
Those with cognitive disorders are at great risk of leaving the confines of a place where they are kept safe, and venturing out into a world where they can become disoriented, lost, frustrated, confused and worse. Some of the biggest risks of wandering or elopement include:
- Broken bones
- Cuts or lacerations from physical harm
- Walking into traffic
- Accidental death
Patients who wander are at a heightened risk for injury in colder months, where temperatures dip low and can cause severe hypothermia. Colder temperatures can cause further harm to the patient and there is a clear risk of fatality if the elderly resident is not found in time.
How Can Nursing Homes Prevent Wandering and Elopement?
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities have a duty of care to keep patients safe, and that includes preventing those who suffer from cognitive disorders from leaving the premises.
There are numerous ways nursing home caretakers and staff can prevent wandering and elopement from occurring. These may include:
- Alarms on the beds and chairs of residents at risk of wandering
- Ensuring doors and windows are locked
- Supervising time spent outdoors
- Radio frequency identification devices
- Providing adequate staff to handle the number of residents at the facility
With proper assistance, patients in nursing homes should be safely guided through their everyday activities, not left alone, neglected, and with the potential to harm themselves. If you believe that your loved one is not receiving appropriate supervision and care, act quickly to preserve your family’s rights and your loved ones safety.
Contact Our Lawyers For a Free Review of Your Claim
The care of your elderly loved one is not something that should be ignored or overlooked. At Pitman, Kalkhoff, Sicula & Dentice, our experienced team of New Mexico injury lawyers and legal professionals are ready to work for your family to get you the justice you deserve and the compensation that you need.
Allowing elderly patients with cognitive disorders to wander is a definite form of neglect. Receive a free consultation of your nursing home neglect case today.