Nursing homes are required to provide adequate supervision and security measures to prevent residents who are incapable of self-preservation from leaving the nursing home and getting in harm’s way. Unfortunately, nursing home residents who have Alzheimer’s Disease or other cognitive impairments often wander out of nursing homes and into the world where they are not safe.
If your loved one wandered off from a nursing home, we strongly encourage you to contact an experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorney right away. Even if no serious injury has occurred, wandering off may be an indicator that other forms of nursing home abuse or neglect are present.
Causes of Wandering Off
Wandering off is also commonly referred to as "elopement." There are several possible causes of elopement, most of them the result of negligence.
- Understaffing – Residents cannot be properly monitored without adequate numbers of nursing home personnel to supervise them.
- Lack of security – Inadequate surveillance equipment, lack of security guards and other security devices.
- Other negligence – This may include failure to lock doors, gates, windows, or other points of entry or exit, failure to repair security equipment, failure to identify at-risk residents. There have been cases where nursing home employees have willingly allowed residents to leave.
Any number of dangers awaits the cognitively impaired resident that is allowed to wander off. Several cases of hypothermia, heat stroke, frostbite, acts of violence, pedestrian/auto accidents, and drowning have emerged in the last few years.
Whether or not an injury has occurred, if your loved one resides in a nursing home in Arizona and has been allowed to wander off unsupervised, please contact the experienced nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Cullan & Cullan today to schedule your confidential consultation.