Data collected by physican researchers working of a 2012 study published in the Annals of Long-Term Care: Clinical Care and Aging journal highlighted some staggering realities as it relates to nursing home residents and their propensity to wander from them.

Researchers found that as many as 31 percent of all residents of nursing homes wander at some point during their tenure there. They also found that the percentage of dementia patients that wander from such facilities could be as high as 70 percent.

They note that the wandering of residents from skilled nursing facilities, a concept known as elopement, is particularly concerning. They found that those suffering from dementia and other cognitive disorders have an increased risk of suffering injuries and even dying if they make it out of their residential care facilities.

While working on their study, the researchers found that while Medicare and Medicaid required residents of these types of facilities to undergo extensive comprehensive assessments at the time of their admittance and at other intervals, they weren’t enough. They found that they weren’t adequate enough to assess the wandering risk of a resident.

The researchers also found that nursing care facilities took too few measures to protect residents against wandering. They even found cases where a resident with the Alzheimer’s variant of dementia was able to roll himself in his wheelchair out of his residential care facility without staff catching him doing it. They only realized what had happened some time later.

Researchers working on this groundbreaking study later determined that better tested protocols need to be developed to assess a patient’s wandering risk. They also noted that nursing homes need to implement measures to prevent cognitively impaired residents from being able to as easily make it out of their facilities.

If your loved was injured or killed after wandering from their residential facility due to insufficient staffing or poor security, then a Cleveland attorney can advise you of your right to file a lawsuit in your case.

Source: Managed Health Care, “Wandering and elopement in nursing homes,” Paula Lester M.D., accessed June 08, 2018