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Nursing Home Staff Should Be Watchful for Dangerous Wandering and Elopement

Posted on in Wandering and Elopement

Illinois nursing home neglect attorneysWhen a person has been able to move about freely his or her whole adult life, it can be extremely difficult to lose that independence after being admitted into a nursing home. Nursing home residents may wander around the nursing home and get into very dangerous situations. A resident who wanders to an unsupervised area of the nursing home could slip and fall, wander into kitchens containing hot stoves, be exposed to hazardous cleaning chemicals, and more. When a resident actually leaves the nursing home facility, this is called elopement. Some nursing home residents have been seriously injured or passed away after being exposed to the elements outside of a nursing home facility.

Residents with Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia Are Especially at Risk

A great deal of nursing home residents suffer from cognitive diseases that affect their ability to understand what is going on around them. A person with advanced dementia may not understand that he or she is living in a nursing home for his or her own safety. The resident may attempt to “escape” the nursing home facility and go home. A fragile resident who goes outside may become lost or severely injured before nursing home staff even know they are gone.

There are many ways in which a wandering or eloping nursing home patient could be injured. He or she could slip and fall, or the resident could fall down unsecured stairs. If the resident leaves the facility, he or she could be hit by a car or become victim of a crime. Any of these injuries could leave the home itself liable for damages.

Nursing Home Staff Should Be Closely Monitoring Residents

Workers at a nursing home have a duty to closely supervise residents -especially those who have cognitive issues. Door alarms and other security measures should be working correctly and staff should be trained to properly respond to the alarms. If a nursing home resident is frequently wandering into unsafe areas or actually leaves the facility, this may be a sign that workers are not properly supervising the resident. When lack of supervision leads to a resident’s injury or death, a nursing home facility can be considered liable.

Contact a Chicago Nursing Home Neglect Attorney

At Schwartz Injury Law, we have seen firsthand the devastating consequences that can result from wandering and elopement. We are dedicated to holding negligent nursing home staff accountable for their actions. If your loved one has passed away or been injured after wandering or elopement from a nursing home, contact our law firm to learn about your legal options. Call us at 312-535-4625 for a free consultation with a knowledgeable Cook County nursing home injury lawyer.

 

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs5.asp?ActID=1225

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