Over 51 percent of nursing home residents have some form of dementia, making them more likely to exit the facility and possibly wander off the premises (elopement). That sets the stage for potential injuries—physical and psychological—from falls, walking into traffic, exposure to the elements, etc. Nursing home liability for a resident’s injuries depends on the circumstances.
Negligence In Nursing Homes
Nursing homes owe residents a general duty of “due care,” which means taking every reasonable precaution to keep residents safe from foreseeable harm. If it can be proved that the nursing home knew or should have known of the resident’s condition and/or their prior history of wandering, then the resident’s wandering was foreseeable—nursing home liability is likely.
On the flip side, if a resident had never displayed prior signs of confusion and had no history of wandering, the resident’s wandering might not have been foreseeable. It’s conceivable the nursing home would not be held liable.
Other factors in nursing home liability include inadequate training of employees and improper monitoring of patients more likely to wander. A nursing home’s owner could also be found negligent if the facility lacked an alarm system and exits weren’t properly secured.
If a resident appears to be uninjured following an elopement, it may be advisable in some situations for family members to schedule physical and psychological evaluations for their loved one with trusted professionals. Some injuries aren’t readily apparent. Interruption of a resident’s medical regimen (e.g., a heart condition) due to the incident may cause harm as well.
Consult an Injury Attorney For Nursing Home Negligence
If a family member has been injured at a nursing home due to negligence, contact Jason Schultz at 404-474-0804 to protect their rights.