Wandering in nursing homes or around the grounds is a significant risk for elderly patients, especially those with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If a patient wanders the grounds or if they leave the facility entirely, it could result in injury or death. Health care professionals in nursing homes should always be on guard to prevent this from happening. While most staff members do this, some may carelessly or negligently ignore a patient and allow a resident to wander off.
A Phoenix nursing home wandering resident lawyer could help. A well-practiced attorney could discuss your case, legal rights, and what options may be available to pursue compensation on your elderly family member’s behalf.
Patients who have recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s or dementia and have begun experiencing symptoms are particularly prone to wandering, especially if their new environment is unfamiliar. Other reasons why an elderly resident may wander include:
Whether a nursing home resident is wandering due to their mental state, or improper conduct by the nursing staff triggers them, leaving the care of an assisted living facility poses a serious risk to residents. A Phoenix nursing home wandering resident attorney could review the facts of a case to determine why a resident may have wandered off and determine how to continue.
To prevent wandering incidents, nursing home staff must walk a fine line between guaranteeing the resident’s safety by ensuring they do not roam, and not going so far as to physically restrain the individual against their will. Under 42 U.S. Code §1395i-3(c)(ii), all residents in a nursing home have a right to be free from restraints. Any abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and physical or chemical restraints for disciplinary or convenience purposes is expressly forbidden.
Under federal law, the patient may only be restrained to ensure their safety and the safety of other residents. A resident also could be restrained if it is under the written order of a physician who provides specific parameters for when and how long restraints may be used. While these laws afford elders many rights, they also recognize that restraints for safety and medical purposes are sometimes necessary for the good of the patient and other residents. A Phoenix nursing home wandering resident lawyer could assess the facts of a case and determine whether a resident’s rights may have been violated.
If your loved one was harmed due because they roamed away from their care facility, you should contact a Phoenix nursing home wandering resident lawyer. By speaking with a knowledgeable attorney, you may gain a better understanding as to whether this incident may have been caused by inattentive or negligent nursing staff and what legal options you may have. Call today and schedule your first consultation.