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Does The Nursing Home Have a Responsibility To Make Sure My Loved One Does Not Wander Away?

Does The Nursing Home Have a Responsibility To Make Sure My Loved One Does Not Wander Away?

A: Nursing homes have a responsibility to supervise their residents and to keep them safe from the risks they pose to others and to themselves. Some nursing home residents unfortunately suffer from dementia, and are unable to safely walk unsupervised outside. Sometimes they are unable to find their way back to their home and walk into traffic inappropriately.

Therefore, it is extremely important that nursing homes provide appropriate supervision and that they have adequate technological safeguards in place to prevent a resident from leaving a facility unattended. Among the technology alternatives available is a system known as “wander guard.” This is a device that alerts the nursing staff if a resident opens the door of a facility. Nursing homes should also have an alarm on the door so the nursing staff is aware at the exact moment any resident leaves the facility.

A Canadian newspaper recently reported an incident at a Canadian nursing home which points out the extreme importance of nursing homes having appropriate safeguards in place. The Canadian resident left the facility and although she suffered from severe dementia, she was capable of remembering the key code on the door and was found 40 minutes later. She had fallen and later died from the injuries she sustained from the fall.

If your loved one is in a nursing home, we recommend you insist the resident be assessed for the risk of wandering away and that you ask the nursing supervisors what is being done to ensure that your loved one does not leave the nursing home.

For further information on protecting your loved one in a nursing home, you can request our free book on this website or by calling our office at 386-255-4020. The 5 things nursing homes do to cause needless suffering…proven ways you can protect you family member.


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