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New York Wandering & Elopement Lawyers

New York Wandering & Elopement LawyersOne of the most challenging issues related to the care of a nursing home resident is wandering and elopement. This involves an unsupervised resident walking through the facility halls, or worse, leaving the nursing home and wandering the streets without regulation. When nursing home residents stray from the safety of their nursing home, they’re exposed to a number of dangers, especially elderly individuals who are at a greater risk for falls and other accidents.

When you put your elderly or disabled loved one in the care of a nursing home, you anticipate that the facility will take every measure to honor, respect, and protect them. To that end, nursing homes are required by state and federal law to provide adequate safety and security measures to prevent residents from wandering off. Still, all too often, profit is given priority over safety. Wandering and elopement are just a few examples of what can happen when a nursing home lacks the proper protocols and sufficient staff to care for all the residents.

What is Wandering and Elopement?

In general, wandering and elopement, as they relate to nursing home negligence and abuse, can be defined by the following terms:

  • Wandering: This is defined by cognitively impaired residents who move about inside the facility without appreciating their personal safety and possibly entering into harm’s way.
  • Elopement: Elopement occurs when residents incapable of protecting themselves from harm successfully leave the facility unsupervised and unnoticed and perhaps enter into a dangerous situation.

If a nursing home resident who isn’t capable of protecting themselves from harm or who’s cognitively impaired wanders or leaves the nursing home, the facility may be acting negligently and could be held responsible for the resulting harm. Nursing homes must assess a resident’s risk factors, and if they’re in jeopardy of wandering or elopement, the caregivers must protect the patient at all costs and prevent them from leaving the safety of the facility.

What Causes Wandering and Elopement in New York Nursing Homes?

Wandering is a standard characteristic of many nursing home residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s. This confusion leads to wandering and elopement if the nursing home doesn’t have proper safety procedures in place. Wandering and elopement can occur for the following reasons:

  • The resident is forgetful: Residents of nursing homes who tend to wander may have a mental impairment, which leads them to believe they have something important to accomplish or somewhere they must go.
  • The resident wants to go home: Along those same lines, a resident with dementia might elope if they want to “go home” or “go to work.” If a nursing home staff member is unprepared to handle an episode like this or doesn’t recognize the signs, your loved one may be in danger.
  • There are changes in the resident’s medication or processes: Wandering and elopement may also occur due to changes in a patient’s medication, feeling overwhelmed with a new living arrangement, or the experience of any other unwelcome change. These instances may occur when an older adult leaves to use the restroom or find sustenance on their own without any staff members who can help.
  • The resident is seeking variety: A resident may want to wander because they want a change of location from their confined area. Nursing facilities sometimes lack the variety needed to stimulate senior residents.

Because many nursing home residents suffer from these cognitive diseases, the facility is responsible for putting measures in place to preclude injuries from wandering or elopement. This may involve monitoring residents continually, providing identification and visitor badges to all guests, maintaining appropriate staffing levels, and more.

Call an Experienced New York Wandering and Elopement Lawyer at Dalli & Marino

If your elderly loved one wandered from their nursing home, they might have substantial injuries from an accident, fall, or from dehydration or malnutrition. For legal assistance, consider getting in touch with the trusted attorneys at Dalli & Marino. We’re a group of seasoned lawyers who understand New York regulations and government healthcare. Our team of highly trained trial attorneys will best be able to help you evaluate the compensation you may be granted based on the circumstances of your case.

At Dalli & Marino, our settlements and verdicts have recovered millions of dollars for our clients since 1996. We tackle each case on an individual basis and are dedicated to helping your loved one recover the compensation you need for your loved one’s injury or illness. Get in touch with us at (888) 465-8790 or complete our contact form today.