Deaths of people who leave senior-care facilities undetected, also called “elopement,” are not uncommon. Recently a Minnesota man walked away from an assisted living facility and succumbed to the frigid overnight temperatures. In 2013, an elderly woman with dementia perished after she walked out of another assisted living facility because the door she used was not attached to an alarm system.
Supervision is a critical component to a safe nursing home facility. Elopement is a specific example of nursing home staff failing to meet supervision and security expectations resulting in the endangerment of residents.
Many deaths and injuries that result from negligent supervision can be prevented by providing proper training to staff and exercising vigilance. It is important for nursing home staff to be well-versed on the habits of residents and be aware of the specific mental and physical issues that residents may have, particularly when it comes to concerns regarding dementia.
Exits which are not intended to be operated by nursing home residents should be either locked securely or equipped with alarms. In addition to keeping a close eye on residents, it is important for nursing home staff to check alarms periodically to ensure proper functioning and to respond promptly if there is an alarm.
If your loved one has been a victim of neglect or abuse in a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact the Des Moines Law Offices of John T. Hemminger for help. John has helped many Iowa families in holding elderly care facilities accountable for their actions. Call today at 515-283-2116.
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