When families make the difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, they often do so after one or more incidents which made them feel as though it was no longer safe for their elderly relative to live at home on their own. Perhaps she has wandered off on more than one occasion without telling anyone, only to be discovered missing by someone with whom she had planned to visit at her home at a specific time. Maybe he has been forgetting to eat, and has become undernourished. Whatever the situation is, when a family feels that close supervision is the best solution to their elderly relative’s current problems, they are likely to insist that their relative move into a nursing home which they feel will supervise them adequately and keep them safe.
While some nursing homes are very secure environments, others, including some facilities which promote themselves as being specifically designed to address the needs of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, are not. Residents do sometimes wander away from their nursing homes, undetected by staff, and sometimes with tragic results. While some nursing home residents who wander off are found within hours of their disappearances, others are not found alive. Deaths from wandering have resulted from freezing cold weather, starvation, and drowning, among other things.
Nursing home staff assess new residents in order to determine what types of care they need. Each resident has his or her own unique set of needs. Some residents need a great deal of medical care, while others, such as many residents who are affected by Alzheimer’s or dementia, may be in good physical health but require close supervision because of their mental health needs. In fact, the residents who require the most supervision are those who are physically capable of moving around easily and have mental health conditions which make them prone to wandering.
It is possible to keep residents who are at a high risk for wandering safely contained within a nursing home facility. When nursing home staff communicate with each other regarding which residents are at a high risk for wandering, they are more likely to keep a closer watch on those who need it. Also, when nursing home management staff their facilities adequately, residents are better supervised. Many of the incidences of nursing home wandering which have occurred have been at facilities that are chronically understaffed. Additionally, some safety features, like locks and alarms on doors and windows can be built right into the facility, or added later on, as needed.
Giddens Law Firm, P.A.: Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys
If you have lost a loved one because they wandered away from the nursing home that was responsible for their safety and well-being, you may be able to recover or your loss. The Mississippi Wrongful Death Attorneys at the Giddens Law Firm, P.A. would like to hear from you. Call our office today, at (601) 355-2022 and arrange a consultation with us.