What is Wandering and Elopement?
Our Representation of Injured Facility Residents
Wandering and elopement is a term referring to residents leaving a nursing home or long-term care facility unattended, and without the knowledge of facility staff.
Residents in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities often suffer from significant cognitive issues, typically as the result of Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. Because of these cognitive diseases, when residents leave facilities unattended, they are often completely unaware of their surroundings, such as where they are or even the current year. They may believe that they are walking home to their house after high school or believe that they are in another state.
When these events occur, tragic outcomes can easily result.
Residents leaving unattended can walk into traffic and be injured. Because of their frail condition, residents leaving a facility can easily suffer from heatstroke in the summer time, or die from the cold in the winter.
Because it is not clear what they may be thinking, there is no way to guess where they may be going when they leave a facility, or the path that they may take. As a result, it can take many hours or even days to locate them, and sometimes they are not located before they have become injured.
Are Nursing Homes Liable When Residents Leave a Facility Unattended?
In almost all cases, the answer is yes, when the resident clearly should not be allowed to leave the facility unattended.
We trust nursing homes and long-term care facilities to take proper care of our seniors. As part of this care, the facility should have adequate staffing, video monitoring, and other procedures so that residents cannot simply leave the facility. It is especially appalling when wandering and elopement occurs, given the fragile nature of the nursing home residents.
What Are the Causes of Wandering and Elopement?
Wandering and elopement typically occur as the result of a significant lack of security, or as the result of a breakdown in systems. There may be a lack of video surveillance or proper locks on external doors that can only be opened by staff members. Or equipment may malfunction, doors that should locked may be propped open, or staff may simply not be monitoring video.
Regardless of the actual cause, the injuries and sometimes death sustained by residents cannot be undone.
How We Help Clients Who Have Suffered Injury from Wandering and Elopement, and the Families Who Have Lost a Loved One After Leaving a Nursing Home Unattended
As wandering and elopement lawyers, we are tenacious in seeking to hold nursing home and long-term care facilities accountable for the injuries and death that result from their negligence. In our experience, facilities often will not change their wrongful practices until the cost of litigation, settlements, and awards outweigh the costs of ensuring proper safety and security of residents.
Each case that we accept not only is an opportunity to seek justice and fair compensation for our clients and their families, it is also an opportunity to promote change in nursing homes and long-term care facilities so that future residents and their families do not need to needlessly suffer.
Please Call Us for a Free Consultation to Discuss Your Case
Once we know about the facts and circumstances of how your loved one was injured or died, we can explain how we can help and the options that may be available. We accept nursing home abuse and neglect cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning that there is no fee unless compensation is recovered.