How Wandering Presents a Safety Concern in Illinois Nursing Homes

One of the primary concerns that people possess when they place their loved one in a nursing home or other long-term care facility is the level of care that person will receive. Will they get the help they need each day? Will someone assist them with meals? What about when the patient wants to move about the facility?

These are reasonable concerns to address with the staff at any facility you utilize for the care of your elderly relative and may be especially important if your loved one has limited cognitive abilities. With diseases that produce mental confusion, including Alzheimer’s and dementia, the level of care and supervision necessary increases and failure to provide the needed care can have devastating results.

Wandering is one of the most common issues faced by older adults with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and it can plague even the best of nursing homes. Wandering occurs when a patient is allowed to ambulate around a facility without constant supervision by a staff member or employee and can happen to a patient with any type of impairment. While walking around a nursing home might not sound dangerous to the average person, it can be incredibly risky for a nursing home resident with mental impairments. Often, those suffering from cognitive issues will be unable to appreciate the risks that come with various actions. For example, if a resident wanders into a kitchen that is being used for meal preparation, that resident may not remember that a stove or an oven can be hot, even if the resident used to know that prior to the onset of his or her dementia.

Wandering also leads to the very real possibility that a resident will slip, trip, and fall on an object or a hazard around the home. Common things like a chair that is sticking out, a wheel chair that is left in a hallway, or even a bed that has not been returned to its proper position can all be dangerous to a nursing home patient who suffers from confusion. Homes with stairs are threatening as well as those who suffer from Alzheimer’s may not appreciate the danger they present and may fall down several stairs as a result.

It is the responsibility of a nursing home and its employees to prevent injuries to their patients by preventing wandering among those at-risk for harm. If they fail to do so, they may be liable for any damages that result if a resident is hurt while wandering or if injuries occur from the incident.

If you suspect a case of nursing home neglect or abuse caused your loved one to suffer, call the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. today and let us provide you with the information you need to determine your legal options. We offer a free, no-obligation case consultation to those who call us toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575 and we keep a licensed lawyer standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call.

At Abels & Annes, P.C., we believe that nursing homes should be held accountable when their actions let innocent patients become injured. If you are in need of help for someone that you care about, call us today and let us help you get the assistance you need.

Prior Blog Entry:

Limiting Falls in Illinois Nursing Homes, Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, published September 10, 2015.

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