Phoenix Wandering Attorneys
Elopement Can Be Caused by Negligence
Incidents of wandering and elopement at nursing homes have been on the rise in recent years, and they are among the most dangerous situations that our elderly loved ones can find themselves in.
With proper care and supervision, nursing homes are often a healthy environment for the elderly and ensure that their needs are met. When supervision fails, either through lack of attention or improper training, then there is a very real risk of injury or even death to those we place in the care of nursing home staff.
If your loved one has been injured or put at risk while wandering away from a nursing home, do not accept that it was simply "an accident." All too often, these incidents occur because of negligence on the part of the nursing home owners or staff, and you deserve to see your loved ones cared for properly.
What Is Elopement or Wandering?
Elopement refers to any incident in which an elderly person under the care of a nursing home wanders away from the grounds of the facility. "Wandering" is less severe, and means that the person is not where he or she is supposed to be, but still on the facility.
Certain people are more likely to elope from a nursing home than others, and it is up to the staff to be aware of such risks. For example, a resident who has limited mobility is less likely to wander away than one who can walk around without assistance. Also, residents who suffer from dementia or similar conditions are at very high risk of wandering away, particularly under the belief they have to feed a pet, go to work, or perform some other daily task from their past.
Is Elopement Dangerous?
Elopement can be very dangerous, especially for elderly residents in notably hot or cold climates. Wandering away from a nursing home is inherently dangerous, since confused loved ones might end up walking into traffic or a large body of water. In areas of extreme heat and cold, however, there is also the risk of serious injury or even death simply due to exposure to the sun or snow.
Can Elopement Be Caused by Negligence?
While true accidents do occur, in many cases elopement is due to some form of negligence. For example, if a nursing home fails to place alarms on exterior doors not meant for use by residents, or does not properly maintain those alarms, then the facility may be negligent. Any failure to make sure residents are secure and safe when reasonable action would avoid an accident is likely negligence.
When Negligence Occurs, Who Is Liable?
Liability can be difficult to determine, which is why you need an experienced Phoenix elder abuse lawyer by your side when handling this type of situation. In some cases, one or more members of the staff at a nursing home may be liable for injuries that occur due to elopement, if they were personally negligent. In other situations, the owners of a nursing home can be held liable, for example, if the owners failed to maintain the facility or did not ensure proper training for staff members.
Don't Wait, Call The Husband and Wife Law Team Today!
Elopement and wandering from a nursing home can result in serious injuries and unnecessary pain and suffering for elderly loved ones and their families. Do not accept that such an incident was unavoidable. Call Breyer Law Offices, P.C., at (602) 267-1280 to discuss your case and put us to work for you!