Wandering and Elopement

Louisville, KY Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer for Wandering and Elopement from Facilities

As individuals get older and their mental conditions deteriorate, they can become prone to doing things without realizing or understanding what they are doing. Two examples of this are wandering and elopement. These can be very dangerous, especially for those who are frail or require medications on a regular basis. As a result, nursing home residents who are at risk for wandering and elopement should be under careful, consistent supervision. Nursing homes should have safety measures in place to not only prevent wandering and elopement, but also to help residents avoid injuries when wandering in their facilities.

Unfortunately, statistics and our experience show that many nursing homes in Kentucky and throughout the country do not take the necessary measures to prevent wandering and elopement injuries. There are numerous stories of residents suffering serious injuries while eloping, and many, many residents suffer fall-related injuries while wandering each year.

Experienced Representation for Wandering and Elopement Injuries

At Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC, we are dedicated to helping elderly individuals and their families hold Kentucky nursing homes accountable for their negligent acts and substandard care. Residents deserve to live safe, comfortable, and healthy lives, and their families deserve not to be constantly worried about whether their loved ones are receiving adequate protection and care. Nursing homes that allow residents to wander and elope need to be held accountable. Let us help you take action and enforce your legal rights.

Understanding Wandering and Elopement

Wandering and elopement are similar but separate problems that both result from negligent nursing home care. If you or a loved one has been injured while wandering or eloping from a nursing home, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

What is Wandering?

Wandering occurs when an elderly resident is permitted to roam a nursing home freely and without necessary supervision. Nursing home residents should certainly have the freedom to move about and explore their surroundings (unreasonable restraints are a serious form of nursing home abuse); however, if doing so puts them at risk for injury, nursing home staff members need to provide adequate assistance and supervision.

The risks of wandering primarily involve injuries from falls, but there are other serious risks as well. Nursing home residents who are permitted to wander may suffer from:

  • Broken bones
  • Severe contusions and lacerations
  • Dehydration and malnutrition
  • Lack of medication
  • Confusion, anxiety, and emotional distress

What is Elopement?

The risks of elopement are even greater. Elopement refers to a resident leaving his or her nursing home without supervision. A number of factors may lead residents to elope, with dementia and memory loss being two of the leading causes. Elderly residents who forget where they are or who do not understand their situations may elope without knowing what they are doing and without realizing that they are putting themselves in harm’s way. In some cases, residents who are confused about their situations may become scared or frustrated and leave to try to find help. In other cases, residents who are bored or lonely may simply elope in search of a more meaningful life.

Along with the dangers associated with wandering, nursing home residents who elope face risks such as:

  • Being struck by a moving vehicle
  • Getting lost
  • Freezing
  • Overheating
  • Injuries and illnesses resulting from exposure

With both wandering and elopement, the risks are compounded when residents encounter dangerous circumstances. Both inside and outside of nursing homes, unprotected stairways, poorly-lit areas, access to drugs and chemicals, and other people can all create dangerous – and in some cases life-threatening – situations.

How Nursing Homes Can be Held Liable for Wandering and Elopement Injuries

In order to protect their residents, nursing homes must take appropriate individualized and facility-wide steps to prevent wandering and elopement. If they don’t, they can be held liable for their residents’ injuries. Some common examples of problems that can lead to wandering and elopement include:

  • Abuse, abandonment, or neglect
  • Inadequate staffing numbers
  • Inadequately-trained staff
  • Failure to install or properly maintain alarms, locks, and other appropriate safety devices
  • Staff members’ failure to promptly respond to wandering and elopement
  • Improper or unsupervised administration of psychotropic medications

Contact Seth Gladstein | Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer in Louisville, KY

If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to wandering or elopement, Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC can help. We have helped numerous residents and their families, and we can make sure that you receive the care, treatment, and compensation you deserve. To learn more about taking action after nursing home wandering or elopement, please call (800) 991-0474 or contact us online for a *free consultation.

*Each case is different and the past record is no assurance that we will be successful in reaching a favorable result in any future case. Among many settlements, Gladstein Law Firm has recovered: $1.8 Million settlement for medical malpractice case involving negligent performance of hysterectomy (Christian Circuit Court); $1.75 Million medical malpractice case involving negligent failure to timely diagnose and treat lung cancer (Jefferson Circuit Court); $550,000 settlement for failure to diagnose prostate cancer (pre-litigation settlement); $500,000 settlement for negligent failure to diagnose and treat an impending stroke after brain surgery (Jefferson Circuit Court); and $195,000 settlement for negligent failure to diagnose and treat a potentially life-threatening heart condition (Macon Co., N.C.; served as co-counsel)  Click here to see some of Gladstein Law Firm, PLLC’s successes. Client pays costs only upon recovery.


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