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Wandering and Elopement

Patients who are placed in nursing homes are often placed there because they are unable to care for themselves and because families need extra support to care for them. Nursing homes are expected to keep patients and residents safe, and this means preventing them from wandering off by themselves. Special care needs to be taken in cases where someone has dementia or Alzheimer's and may not know how to get back safely or how to walk around a city safely.

While nursing homes are advertised as places where residents can be safe, nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys in Hollywood, Homestead, Miami, and other South Florida communities regularly handle cases involving wandering and elopement. If your loved one has been allowed to wander away from a nursing home and has been injured, contact Flaxman Law Group online or at 866-352-9626 for a free accident consultation with an attorney.

Why Wandering Happens

Wandering and elopement in nursing homes in Hollywood and other South Florida communities happens for number of reasons, including:

  • Incorrect supervision
  • Understaffing or undertraining of staff
  • Lack of adequate fences
  • Lack of proper monitoring
  • Lack of proper locks and self-locking gates on the property
  • Lack of alarms and sensors which can help alert staff when residents leave
The Dangers

When seniors with dementia and other chronic conditions wander off, there are many dangers:

  • They can fall somewhere where there is no one to help them
  • They can wander into traffic or be struck by a car
  • They may not be able to seek shelter or choose weather-appropriate clothing
  • They may not get important medication on time
  • They may wander into a remote area and not be able to find their way back

There have even been instances of seniors who wandered away from nursing home areas and drowned in shallow fountains or pools. Unfortunately, someone who needs the extra support of a nursing home may not be able to stay safe outside without added support. Wandering off alone can result in dehydration, traffic accidents, and other life-threatening situations.

What You Can Do

When looking at nursing homes, make sure to ask about safety features, especially if your loved one has Alzheimer's or dementia. If your family member has such a condition, look for nursing homes with extensive experience with residents who have these types of medical situations. Ask about self-locking gates, alarm systems on doors, and staff to resident ratios. This should give you a sense of what sorts of precautions are taken to prevent elopement and wandering.

If a loved one has wandered off and has been injured, contact a Hollywood nursing home abuse and negligence attorney immediately. Wandering and elopements are always preventable situations and nursing homes who are negligent in this fashion should be held accountable. You may be able to seek compensation to help pay for medical care, counseling, and other necessary services to help your loved one.

If you’d like to speak to a nursing home abuse and negligence attorney in Hollywood, Homestead, Miami or any surrounding community, contact Flaxman Law Group online or at 866-352-9626. In a free accident consultation, one the nursing home abuse and negligence attorneys from our Hollywood, Miami, or Homestead offices can review your situation with you.

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