Nursing homes should be places where our elderly loved ones feel at home and protected. The ideal nursing home is one which allows a degree of freedom to residents, but which also takes into account safety needs of the individual patient. Unfortunately, far too many nursing homes do not live up to their ideal, and, rather than refuges for the aged, they become places of abuse and suffering. Among the more serious problems in nursing homes is elopement, which in essence is a form of wandering away. If you believe that your loved one has suffered injury due to negligence, it is imperative that you hire a Tampa nursing home negligence lawyer who will fight for your loved one’s rights.
A Tampa Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Explains Reasons for Elopement
Elopement involves the wandering away of a nursing home resident whereby he manages to leave the premises. Unfortunately, there are no personality types that are more conducive to elopement than others, and staff must assume that any resident who is capable of doing so is at risk of elopement.
Your Tampa nursing home negligence lawyer will tell you that despite the above there are certain residents who, because of their physical capabilities and mental state, are more likely to elope than others. These are residents who do not have significant mobility limitation but suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s. Often a resident will imagine that he must leave the nursing home in order to take care of a pet dog from his past or return to work at the office. A resident may suggest frantically that they left the shower running at home or that they didn’t lock the back door. It is important that staff watch these individuals more carefully.
A Tampa Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer on the Dangers of Elopement
Despite the fact that elopement is a recognized danger for nursing home residents, cases of it have risen in recent years by 38%. Your Tampa nursing home negligence lawyer will tell you that this is likely attributable to decreases in the ratio of caregivers to residents. In other words, because of budgetary constraints, nursing homes today work with reduced staffs which in turn are less able to keep an adequate eye on residents who may elope.
Wandering away from a nursing facility is fraught with danger for an elderly resident who is largely helpless to care for himself. The patient may wander out into traffic, suffer exposure to extremes in temperature, fall and become injured while walking on uneven ground or walk into a lake or river and become trapped. Moreover, the danger can increase exponentially when the patient realizes he is lost and begins to panic.
A Tampa Nursing Home Negligence Attorney Can Help
When an episode of elopement occurs because of the negligence of staff, a law suit is possible if injury resulted. Staff members are obligated to provide individualized monitoring of residents to make sure they don’t wander off and make sure that egress doors are locked at all times.
If your parent or grandparent suffered injury because of the negligent behavior of nursing staff, call a Tampa nursing home negligence lawyer today. Call Peter Giroux at (727) 895-5399.