Seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease are at an increased risk of danger for getting lost or leaving safe areas. They may forget where they are and have a difficult time trying to find their way back to where they are residing. Many families choose to place their loved ones suffering from significant memory loss into a nursing home as a way to keep them safe from these hazards.
Sometimes nursing homes fail to keep seniors with memory loss safe through neglect, understaffing, insufficient staff training, or lack of supervision. This can put your loved one at risk of wandering and elopement. This can cause injuries to your loved one and create immense fear and suffering on behalf of the family. Under the care of nursing home employees, patients should not be able to simply wander away or get lost.
In the event that your loved one is injured as a result of wandering and elopement at a nursing home, it is possible that you could pursue legal action and hold the facility accountable. A Stickney wandering and elopement lawyer may be able to assist you. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999 to discuss the specific details of the incident with our legal team. It is not acceptable for nursing homes to endanger residents at risk for wandering and elopement with inadequate supervision or care. The nursing home should be held responsible for not providing the care needed to keep residents safe and secure.
Precautionary Steps Nursing Homes Use to Keep Memory Care Patients Safe
Nursing homes are fully aware that some patients with memory loss are more likely to wander off and get lost. There are steps that nursing homes take to prevent wandering and to keep residents safe. These include:
- Maintaining a daily routine: Establishing a daily routine builds habits and may help residents follow a pattern of behavior by instinct, keeping them safe in the nursing home.
- Keeping access points and keys away: Many nursing homes restrict access to access points and keys using access cards, pin numbers, and fingerprint systems.
- Validating feelings: Residents can experience a high level of stress, which may be expressed with negative feelings. Validating these feelings helps residents express and process their feelings, preventing them from wanting to leave the facility.
- Limiting activities during times when wandering is most likely to occur: Scheduling activities outside of high-risk times makes it more likely that residents will relax and rest rather than wander off.
- Meeting basic needs: Residents that have all their needs met are less likely to leave because they are more fulfilled. Many residents start to wander to fill a basic need, such as using the bathroom. By proactively addressing these needs, some of the risks of wandering can be reduced.
- Avoiding busy places: Keeping residents out of busy places makes it easier to track them and less likely for a resident to get lost in the crowd.
- Locking areas: Locking areas can prevent residents from leaving through entryways that are difficult to monitor.
- Using signals or electronic monitoring devices: Signal systems and monitoring devices can track residents’ location and let them call for help when they need it. Many of these systems can automatically signal caregivers if residents experience an injury or if residents leave a certain area of the facility.
- Supervising resident activities: Supervision is an effective way of preventing residents from leaving. Many nursing homes monitor entryways and use a check-in system to keep track of residents throughout the day.
Nursing homes have many tactics that they can employ to keep dementia patients and residents with reduced mental capacity safe and secure. This is only a partial list. If your loved one experiences wandering and elopement in a facility that does not seem to take appropriate measures to prevent it and this causes an injury or suffering, you may be entitled to compensation. Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999 to discuss your case with a Stickney wandering and elopement lawyer to see whether you may have a legal case.
For a free legal consultation with a wandering and elopement lawyer serving Stickney, call 800-201-3999
Possible Types of Nursing Home Neglect
Wandering and elopement can both be signs of nursing home neglect or elder abuse. While sometimes it is possible that residents are sneaky enough to escape, not having appropriate safety measures in place is a type of neglect. Nursing homes must understand how important their role is in keeping residents safe. If these homes fail to do so, they are not upholding their required standard of care.
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Dangers of Wandering and Elopement
One of the biggest concerns within nursing home care is preventing wandering and elopement. In regards to seniors who wander, there are many dangers that they must survive. These include:
- Getting lost.
- Car accidents.
- Scaring family members.
There are limitless other dangers that seniors with cognitive impairment may face when it comes to wandering and elopement. Any time your loved one wanders off, they are at great personal risk.
Patients Who Are at Risk for Wandering
Patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease are at an increased risk of wandering, especially if they become lost or confused easily. This can occur frequently in the moderate to advanced stages of the disease’s progression. Patients who exhibit signs that they may wander need to have individualized plans in place to prevent wandering. If a nursing home fails to do that, it can be held liable for any resident injury or death.
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A Stickney Wandering and Elopement Lawyer Can Help; Call Us for a Free Consultation
Wandering and elopement can create significant personal consequences for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. While these patients are at a higher risk for these behaviors, precautionary steps must be taken to keep them safe. In the event that care providers do not take appropriate measures, a nursing home can be held accountable for the injuries, medical bills, pain and suffering, and death of loved ones.
If your loved one suffered after wandering and elopement under the care of a nursing home, contact Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 201-3999. You can speak with a member of our team to discuss your possible legal case.