We have all seen the roadside signs announcing a Silver Alert or received notice on our smartphones that an elderly person is missing. We trust the nursing homes that care for our loved ones to keep them safe and to watch over them. Some of us have had to learn that our loved ones had wandered off or been abducted from a nursing home due to negligent nursing home supervision.
Nursing homes have a responsibility to keep your loved one safe. Allowing your elderly relative to leave without knowledge of their whereabouts or supervision is negligence.
My great-grandfather used to leave his nursing home on a regular basis. He would wander to the nearest bus stop and get on. The first time he did this, the police were called, and much was made of the situation. Luckily for us, the bus driver kind of like him. He would often walk to her bus stop and ride her route with her, and she would eventually drop him back at the nursing home. Despite his repeated escapes, the nursing home did not change their policies or their supervision requirements. My great-grandfather was luckily never harmed on any of his jaunts, but many aren’t so lucky.
Failing to Supervise Patients can lead to Serious Consequences
Nursing homes are often understaffed and may lose staff due to poor working conditions. As a result, staff is often overloaded with work. Because of this excessive workload, patients are often left unattended and unsupervised. For patients with Alzheimer’s, dementia or other memory issues, this can be especially dangerous.
Like my great-grandfather who suffered from dementia, patients who suffer from memory issues and confusion can easily get lost and wander off. They may not be able to find their way back. My great-grandfather used to tell the bus driver to take him home and would assure her he had money to pay her hidden in his house. Granted, at that point, he did not know where he lived.
You pay the nursing home to keep track of and care for your loved one. When the staff fails to properly supervise your loved ones, and they are harmed as a result, they should be held accountable. Nursing home patients that wander off can suffer harm including:
- Falls or other injuries
- End up in trouble with law enforcement since they have no identification or way to communicate who they are
- They could end up wrongfully admitted to a psychiatric facility with authorities mistaking their dementia for mental illness
- The could be hit by cars or wander into traffic
Contact a Houston Attorney handling Negligent Nursing Home Supervision Cases
If your loved one has been injured when wandering from a nursing home due to a lack of supervision, contact a nursing home attorney to discuss your rights. Chelsie King Garza handles cases where patients have been harmed due to negligent nursing home supervision.