Can Virginia Nursing Homes Prevent Elopement and Wandering?

Watching a loved one age is never easy, especially if he or she suffers from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Many families make the difficult decision to place their grandparents, parents or other older relatives in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. This decision is never taken lightly and is usually a necessity to protect the ones we love.

The staff at a nursing home or assisted living facility should have certain measures in place to prevent disoriented residents from leaving the grounds unsupervised (known as “elopement”) or wandering through the facility. When someone enters a nursing home, a plan of care should be created. It is at this time that the person’s risk of wandering or elopement should be assessed.

It doesn’t take a big stretch of the imagination to recognize the dangers elopement and wandering pose to nursing home residents. They can become lost, as their surroundings can quickly become unfamiliar. That is only half of the problem, as many confused residents sustain injuries when they wander away from the facility. Some of these injuries are fatal.

What can be done?

It is reasonable to assume the facility will take action to protect the residents at the highest risk of wandering or elopement. Some of these measures might include:

  • Security locks on doors
  • Alarms on exits
  • Monitoring of exits
  • Closer observation by nurses

If your elderly family member has been hurt in a nursing home, you should consider talking with a Virginia nursing home abuse lawyer. An attorney will be able to advise you on your family’s legal options. For more information, call our office at 703.584.7277.
Ben Glass
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Ben Glass is a nationally recognized Virginia injury, medical malpractice, and long-term disability attorney
Assisted living staff should definitely play close attention to residents wondering off. I've just seen on the news talking about a missing nursing home resident. This is very unfortunate
by assisted living portland oregon July 27, 2011 at 09:33 PM
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