Wandering and Elopement are related concepts. Wandering refers to aimless movement throughout the facility where the resident puts his safety at risk due to an inability to appreciate danger. Elopement refers to the resident's ability to leave the facility unsupervised and unnoticed putting the resident's safety in danger.
What Should Nursing Homes Do To Protect Residents From Wandering and Elopement?
Nursing homes are required to assess each resident to determine their risk for wondering. If the risk is there, the facility is to initiate a plan of care specifically designed to care for the residents at high risk for wandering and elopement.
Some aspects to such care plans include:
- To consistently monitor doors—especially during shift changes where residents are particularly inclined to wander
- Place residents that have been characterized "at risk" for wandering closer to nursing stations so that they can be more closely monitored
- Using alarms on the resident's bed, wheelchair or door as well as the residents themselves
- Exit doors should be alarmed to notify staff when residents leave the facility
If you believe that a loved one may be the victim of nursing home neglect or abuse you should take action quickly and contact us online or call us at 214-563-7539 to set up a free consultation.