Find A Nursing Home Attorney Dealing With Walk Away Claims
Serious injuries can be suffered by nursing home residents who wander away from the facility on their own. Common injuries associated with wandering (also referred to as elopement) include fractures from falls or death from heat stroke or hypothermia.
Federal nursing home regulations require that every resident have an assessment done when they enter the facility and that the assessment be updated on a regular basis or with changes in their medical condition. This report must include a written plan of care which describes the capacity of the resident and an assessment of their ability to function independently. Based on this assessment, proper steps must be taken to supervise the resident and determine what level of unsupervised access they should have to the outside.
Who Can Sue
If a friend or loved one has suffered an injury after wandering unsupervised from a nursing home and you believe that it could have been prevented, nursing home abuse lawsuits are pursued to obtain compensation for the injuries suffered and operate as an important safeguard in our society to protect the rights of residents and make sure that proper standards are followed by the industry.
Many elderly nursing home residents are confused or suffer from some form of dementia. These individuals may be unable to protect themselves from harm or mentally unable to appreciate their safety needs. If they pose a high risk of wandering or attempting to leave the facility unsupervised, the nursing home has an obligation to have proper devices in place and sufficient staff to prevent wandering. Failure to provider proper care could result in confused residents being placed in a position where they are alone, lost and helpless. In many cases simple steps can be taken to reduce the risk of wandering or elopement.
Steps that could be taken include:
- Having sufficient staff to monitor high risk residents
- Moving high risk residents closer to the nurses station
- Placing alarms or bells on doors
- Locking the doors for sections of the nursing home where high risk wanderers are housed
- Adding guards or using security cameras