A large part of keeping Iowa nursing home residents safe and free from injury involves supervising their activities to ensure that they do not wander away from the nursing home. When a nursing home resident wanders away because of improper supervision, serious injury or even death could result.
The potential for harm and injury increases when a nursing home resident is not properly supervised and wanders away from the nursing home. Nursing home residents with dementia or limited physical capabilities can be a danger to themselves when they leave the nursing home unattended. If a nursing home does not have procedures in place to prevent elopements, they may liable for any injuries suffered or wrongful death that occurs.
Understaffed nursing homes, lack of effective supervision, poor training, or malfunctioning/absent alarms are all key factors that cause elopement by residents. Some residents are prone to wander off due to dementia or a deliberate attempt to escape the facility and nursing homes must have procedures in place to prevent elopement from happening. Ignoring risk factors and failing to properly monitor their residents makes the nursing home responsible when an elopement results in injury or death.
If a resident has wandered off the grounds and are then recovered before the family has been notified, the nursing home has a legal obligation to let a family member know about the elopement. Failure to document the elopement is a negligent action in itself. The nursing home and the family should be alerted about any resident who is prone to wandering away from the facility. This information could be invaluable to prevent a future elopement, and possible future injury.
Nursing homes are responsible for your loved ones once they are left in their care. Nursing homes have a duty to their residents to monitor their actions and prevent injury from happening to them, which includes preventing residents from wandering away from the home.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with an experienced nursing home attorney, contact Iowa Nursing Home Elopement attorney Marc A. Humphrey. Attorney Humphrey works closely with each client to hold nursing homes and elder care facilities accountable their negligence. Contact Humphrey Law Firm as soon as possible at 515-331-3510 for help.