Weisman Law Firm
Free Consultations - Available 24/7

Why didn't nursing home staff notice your loved one left?

If you are asking this question, you aren't alone. Residents have wandered away from nursing homes right under the noses of the staff across the country. Some of these incidents end well, but others do not. Some residents suffer serious or fatal injuries. Many of the patients who wander away from their safe area suffer from dementia.

They do so for a variety of reasons, but what they all have in common is that their lives are at risk when they do. When you chose to put your loved one into a nursing home, you did it, at least in part, to make sure that someone was keeping an eye on him or her to prevent something like this from happening.

Should someone have seen the signs?

Statistics indicate that up to 60% of dementia patients will wander at least once. This is a significant number of people, so you would think that preventing elopement, as it's called, would be a priority for nursing homes. They should look for the following risk factors in every new resident:

  • Agitation and restlessness
  • Statements indicating a desire to leave
  • A history of elopement
  • Attempts at elopement in the past
  • Attempts at opening doors
  • The ability to get around without assistance, even with a walker or wheelchair
  • Looking more like a visitor than a resident

As your loved one came into the facility, an assessment should have been done to determine whether he or she could wander away from the facility. With any indication elopement was a risk, the nursing home staff should have created a schedule to check on your loved one regularly to make sure he or she did not wander.

Should someone have been paying attention?

Perhaps the simplest reason why your loved one was able to slip past the nursing home staff is that they were not paying adequate attention. Perhaps the facility did not have basic safety measures such as alarms on the outer doors or maybe having some sort of wristband or anklet that alerts staff members if someone attempts to go through an outer door.

Of course, even the above-mentioned safety measures require staff members to pay attention to them. If someone negligently ignored your loved one and failed to respond to any alarms the facility may have, your loved one probably had no trouble wandering away. If your loved one suffered injuries on his or her unscheduled trip, you may have legal recourse. To know for sure, you could schedule a consultation with an attorney experienced in elder law matters such as elopement.

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information

Talk With Us One-On-One

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.


Privacy Policy