Residents Who Are Not Watched Sometimes Slip Away
An important part of nursing home care is knowing where people are. When residents can’t be accounted for, there is the potential for great harm, no matter whether they are still in the facility or they have wandered away entirely.
Wandering within the facility exposes the resident to many dangers, including falling. Wandering off the facility’s grounds can be much worse. People who do this are susceptible to cold, traffic, dogs, ponds and streams. People can be lost for days. Sometimes they die.
When your family member came to the nursing home, you were promised that they would be supervised. When the nursing home fails to keep this promise, they can be sued for financial compensation for the distress and injury their negligence caused.
Who Wanders, And How To Prevent It
Not every resident wanders away or “elopes” from the nursing home. But it is a major worry with patients suffering from dementia, or who are confused. These residents require extra supervision, to keep them safe.
In addition, nursing homes need to respond better to wandering and elopement problems by:
- Better training
- Assessing residents’ propensity to wander
- Counseling patients where appropriate
- Installing alarms on exit doors
- Instituting a missing persons protocol
- Patient tracking technologies
- Having enclosed outdoor spaces residents can use
Attorney Michael Perillo of Noonan Perillo & Thut Ltd., of Waukegan, Illinois, pursues claims for families that have been victimized by this kind of negligence. It is difficult to make the decision to move a loved one to a care facility. It is painful to learn the facility did not provide the care it promised.