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Nursing Home Negligence and Elopement in Illinois

 Posted on March 27,2024 in Nursing Home Negligence

IL injury lawyerNursing homes have a duty to take measures so that elderly and confused residents cannot wander away from the facility alone. Disoriented senior citizens can become injured or ill very quickly if they are able to leave their nursing homes unsupervised. Nursing homes are professional care practices that are responsible for taking appropriate precautions to keep their residents safe. If your loved one was harmed after eloping from a nursing home unnoticed, he or she may be entitled to compensation. It is important to quickly contact an experienced Plainfield, IL, nursing home negligence lawyer if your loved one is injured because a skilled care facility allowed him or her to wander away.

How Negligence in Nursing Homes Leads to Elopement 

Problems in nursing homes that can lead to a vulnerable resident leaving the grounds unnoticed include:

  • Lack of monitoring systems - Nursing homes that care for disoriented residents should employ a monitoring system capable of alerting staff when a vulnerable resident exits the facility without a caregiver. Residents who are prone to wandering should wear bracelets that alarm when they leave the building, or a staff member should be stationed near the door to make sure confused residents do not leave alone. 
  • Understaffing - When a nursing home does not have the staff needed to supervise residents safely, there is a higher chance that a patient could leave unseen. 
  • Missed diagnoses - If the staff insists that your loved one is mentally sharp before they elope in confusion, a serious diagnosis like Alzheimer’s may have been missed. 
  • Unmet needs - Residents who cannot get their needs met are more likely to wander away from the facility in search of help or other necessities. 

Types of Harm the Elderly Can Suffer While Wandering 

Wandering can be very dangerous for vulnerable elderly people. Common types of injuries include:

  • Falls - Nursing homes should be designed to minimize trip and fall hazards. The outside world is not. 
  • Exposure injuries - If it is very cold or very hot when an elder elopes, they can quickly suffer from heat stroke or hypothermia. Rainy or snowy weather can also be harmful. 
  • Infections - Nursing homes should generally be kept as clean as possible, and ill residents should be quarantined. Outside the home, elders may come into contact with unclean surfaces or sick people. 
  • Motor vehicle accidents - Disoriented older adults can be prone to wandering into the road without looking for cars, leading to serious pedestrian accidents. 

Contact a Will County, IL Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer 

Flaherty Law, LLC is dedicated to helping those who have been injured because a nursing home failed to take the proper precautions. Experienced Plainfield, IL nursing home negligence attorney Daniel Flaherty has focused his entire career on personal injury matters and will do all he can to ensure that your loved one is adequately compensated. Contact us at 815-577-7500 for a free consultation.

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