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Negligence Can Lead to Nursing Home Residents Wandering into Dangerous Locations

Posted on in Wandering and Elopement

Chicago nursing home neglect lawyersHuman beings are naturally curious creatures and this curiosity does not end just because a person requires care in a nursing home. One of the most serious issues in U.S. nursing homes is resident wandering and elopement. Residents sometimes wander through the nursing home facility simply because they are curious or bored. They may also wander or attempt to leave the facility because they are suffering from dementia or another cognitive illness that makes them confused.

Sadly, some nursing home residents wander into dangerous areas and are injured or killed as a result. It is up to nursing home staff to closely monitor nursing home residents and prevent wandering and elopement.

Residents Suffering From Cognitive Disease May Attempt to “Escape” the Nursing Home

If a resident is suffering from dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, or another cognitive problem, he or she may become disorientated and afraid. This confusion may cause the resident to believe that he or she needs to leave the nursing home facility. Nursing home staff should supervise residents with cognitive problems especially carefully so that they do not end up in an unsafe situation. Tragically, residents have died after walking out of nursing home facilities and being exposed to the elements. In one fairly recent case, a 76-year-old nursing home resident passed away after she managed to leave her nursing home unnoticed. Temperatures were below freezing and the woman sadly passed away from hypothermia before she was discovered. A resident who leaves the safety of a nursing home may be at risk of hypothermia, heat stroke, dehydration, slip and fall injuries, and more. This is why it is essential for nursing home staff to monitor the whereabouts of residents at all times.  

Wandering into Hazardous Areas Within the Nursing Home

Another concern for nursing home residents is unsafe conditions inside the nursing home facility. Consider the following example: An elderly nursing home resident suffering from cataracts wanders into the kitchen area of the nursing home. Because her vision is obscured, she accidentally bumps into the stove and knocks a hot pot of water on herself causing serious burns. Accidents like these can be prevented by vigilant nursing home staff. If nursing home workers do not properly supervise residents and a resident is injured or killed as a result, the nursing home facility may be liable.

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

Nursing home workers have a legal obligation to prevent foreseeable resident injuries. If your loved one was hurt due to negligent nursing home staff, contact Schwartz Injury Law for help. Call us at 312-535-4625 for a free consultation with an experienced Chicago nursing home injury attorney today.



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