Louisville Lawyer Explains How Nursing Homes Have A Responsibility To Keep Your Elder Loved One Reasonably Safe And Sound
When many people picture nursing home negligence, they think of prone, or even bedridden, seniors who are not properly cared for or taken advantage of in their immobile state. While those types of negligence and abuse are all too common, seniors who are still mobile are also in danger of negligence and harm – especially those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or mental illness.
In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregiver Center, 60 percent of those with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia wander when not under supervision. Although wandering may at first seem relatively harmless, nursing home residents who wander from their rooms and campuses are in grave danger. In the past, residents have been harmed or killed:
- Residents wander without the proper clothing and suffer from exposure or heat exhaustion.
- Residents wander into traffic and are the victims of pedestrian accidents.
- Residents fall and injure themselves during their elopement.
- Residents wander into pools, ponds, rivers, and other water hazards.
- Residents suffer from dehydration and malnutrition.
As you can see, wandering and elopement are extremely serious issues that can place your elder loved one into danger within minutes after they leave supervision. If your loved one has been seriously injured in a wandering or elopement incident, it is vital that you understand how the incident took place and who was ultimately responsible. Speak to nursing home neglect attorney Seth Gladstein about your case today by requesting a free, private consultation.
What Is Wandering and Elopement?
Wandering refers to residents who are permitted to roam freely in a nursing home without supervision. Elopement refers to a resident who leaves his or her room, facility, or facility grounds without permission and without the knowledge of the staff.
How Wandering and Elopement Happen
Instances of wandering and elopement are very, very rarely the fault of the resident, who often suffers from age-related mental illness, memory issues, and dementia. It is the responsibility of Kentucky nursing home staff members to supervise all residents at all times. A care plan must always be in place to protect residents, particularly those with conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, depression, dementia, confusion, or Parkinson’s disease. If a care plan is not followed, or if the nursing home is negligent in another manner, residents may wander.
Some of the most common reasons that wandering and elopement incidents take place include:
- Staff members are not trained on how to supervise residents correctly.
- There are not enough staff members to adequately take care of residents.
- Alarms, cameras, locks, or other safety devices are not working or in place.
- The staff does not respond quickly or reasonably after an elopement.
- The resident is under the influence of the wrong medication or the wrong dosage of medication.
- The resident’s care plan does not reflect the resident’s needs.
- The staff is not familiar with the details of the resident’s care plan.
All of the above issues stem from nursing home negligence.
Who is At Risk For Wandering and Elopement?
Some residents are more at risk for wandering and elopement than others. Besides a diagnosis of a condition like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, look for the following signs that a loved one or nursing home resident may wander:
- They have difficulty finding even familiar places, such as their bedroom or bathroom.
- They often get lost in the past, looking for old friends or getting ready for a long-finished job.
- They make restless movements, such as pacing.
- They make repetitive movements, such as rocking.
- They talk about going home, even if they are at their home.
- They are new to the environment, such as a new room or new home.
- They have a history of wandering or getting lost.
Find Help for Wandering & Elopement Nursing Home Negligence in Kentucky with Seth Gladstein
Nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and mental illness require care, compassion, and perhaps most of all, the close attention of the facility’s staff. If your elder loved one has been injured because of a wandering incident or an elopement, get to the bottom of the case with the help of a Louisville nursing home negligence attorney.
At Gladstein Law, we have the dedication, knowledge, and experience to help you get the compensation that you need and deserve – and to help hold the at-fault parties responsible for the harm that they have caused. To learn more about your case, to ask a question, or to schedule a free, confidential consultation, please call us today at 502-855-4177. You may also request a meeting with Seth by filling out our quick contact form. Act today to secure justice for your senior loved one.