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Wandering Away in Winter: The Danger of Nursing Home Elopement

You were scared. As the days passed with your loved one living alone or with relatives, you became increasingly concerned about her wandering. You worried that she would leave the house, become lost and confused, and put herself at risk. Moving her to a nursing home was supposed to take away that risk. She was supposed to be watched. She was supposed to be safe.

Yet, She Left the Facility and Wandered Outside in the Middle of Winter

When a resident leaves a nursing home facility without appropriate supervision it is called elopement. Most residents who leave the nursing home without supervision have some form of dementia. They do not realize the risk, they may not be dressed for the weather conditions, and they may have difficulty remembering how to get back or how to tell law enforcement who they are or where they live.

The results can be devastating. Your loved one can be seriously hurt or killed if she wanders away from her nursing home.

And It Never Should Have Happened

Nursing homes have a duty of care to all residents, including those with dementia, those who are at risk of elopement, and your loved one. That duty of care requires them to take reasonable precautions to prevent your loved one from leaving the facility alone. If nursing home staff failed to act with reasonable care and your loved one left her nursing home alone then it is important to find out why. Then, you can take the appropriate steps to help your loved one recover from her injuries and to prevent future elopement injuries.

Don’t accept dementia as an excuse for elopement. Your loved one’s injury was not her fault. Instead, get the answers that you need and the recovery that your loved one deserves by taking action. Please browse our website or start a live chat with us today for more information about how to do that.

Jason F. Abraham
Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham
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