Once a resident elopes from a nursing home, the risk of injury and death skyrockets. Countless times, a resident has been able to walk out unnoticed and has not been found before succumbing to dangers such as freezing cold temperatures or excessive heat. Other residents have been hit by traffic on a busy street. Still other residents have drowned from falling into lakes, ponds, or other bodies of water. Investigation of nursing home elopements frequently finds that nursing home negligence is ultimately to blame for the resident’s injury or death.
In some cases, facilities fail to identify a resident as a wander risk and have made no attempts to intervene. In other cases, a resident who is known as a wander risk is able to elope due to malfunctioning door alarms or failure of technology devices intended to alert staff to a resident’s location. Many times, the facility simply fails to provide adequate supervision to routinely check on the resident and monitor their whereabouts. Some nursing homes have been found to have falsified documentation about resident monitoring that, in fact, never occurred.