When we think about the dangers faced by nursing home residents, medical conditions such as diabetes or pneumonia may immediately come to mind. However, in many cases, one of the most dangerous issues faced by nursing home residents is confusion. Residents who are suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia can become confused about where they are and why. Some nursing home residents become fearful and feel like they are trapped within the very facility that is intended to keep them safe. They may try to “escape” from the facility and, unfortunately, are sometimes successful in doing so.
Nursing home residents who leave the facility are exposed to the elements and may suffer from hypothermia, heat exhaustion, dehydration, or other life-threatening conditions. They may try to cross the road and be struck and killed by a vehicle. This is why it is so crucial for nursing homes to keep facilities secure and adequately supervise residents. Failure to properly supervise residents and keep them safe may be considered neglect.
Injuries and Fatalities Caused by Lack of Supervision
Nursing home residents deserve a reasonable degree of privacy. However, staff must keep a close eye on residents who suffer from cognitive decline. Somebody suffering from dementia may easily wander into a supply closet or loading dock without somebody realizing it. Even if the nursing home resident realizes that they are in danger, they may be unable to retrace their steps and get back to safety. If the resident falls or is otherwise injured, it could be hours before staff discovers them. This cannot only lead to severe physical injuries but also deep psychological trauma.
Elopement from the facility is often fatal if a nursing home resident is not discovered quickly. Nursing homes should have safety features installed that help prevent residents from leaving the building. For example, some nursing home facilities paint murals of bookshelves or windows on doors to disguise them. Bracelets equipped with alarms that go off if a resident exits the building are another safety tool nursing homes use. However, human intervention is often the best way to prevent wandering and elopement. Residents who have a history of wandering the facility or who sometimes become afraid and try to escape should be carefully monitored at all times.
Your Legal Rights After an Injury or Death Caused by Wandering or Elopement
If your loved one was injured or passed away because they wandered into an unsafe area, you may be able to hold the nursing home accountable. A nursing home injury claim is a civil claim brought against a nursing home for failure to meet the standard of care expected of nursing homes. You and your loved one may be entitled to financial compensation for damages.
Contact Our Bensenville Nursing Home Injury Attorney
At [[title]], our Elmhurst nursing home neglect lawyers help families hold negligent nursing homes accountable for their actions. Call us today at [[phone]] to set up a free, no-obligation initial consultation to learn more.