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Oct 20, 2020 by |

California Nursing Home And Elder Abuse Attorneys: Nursing Home Duty To Supervise Dementia Patients

ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER

Dementia Patients Require High Level Of Supervision

Liability For Failure To Supervise

Camera Reveals Dementia Patients Wandering Off

One of the most dangerous, and sadly common, behavior patterns of Alzheimer sufferers is wandering away, also known as elopement.  Older sufferers still living at home may set off from their home and lose their way, sufferers in nursing homes and care facilities may leave the premises and disappear.  When Alzheimer’s patients are institutionalized or under the care of in-home caregivers, a large responsibility for the caregivers is supervision of the patient, so wandering off or elopement is prevented.  The California elder and nursing home abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent older persons and their families against anyone responsible for failing to adequately supervise.  If someone you love has been injured as a result of wandering off from a nursing facility or away from a caregiver. call us today at 415-441-8669, and we can help.

In a recent case[1] covered in the news, a Certified Nursing Assistant at a long-term care facility was charged with criminal neglect of one of the facility’s elder dementia residents. The CNA allegedly gave false statements to police, causing a delay in the search for the resident who had disappeared from the facility.  The resident was found in a barely conscious state in a steep, rocky ravine after a search involving multiple police and fire departments, drones, and search dogs.  The CNA had told investigators that she had checked and taken the vitals of the 69-year-old missing resident on Monday morning, and that when she returned with his breakfast he was missing. However, the resident was captured by the facility’s security footage late the previous Sunday night walking away from the nursing home.  The police said the CNA’s misleading story “led first responders in the wrong direction during the time-sensitive search events while trying to save a man’s life.” 

Studies indicate that the problem of elopement is a widespread one.  According to reports, nearly a third of nursing home residents and up to 70 percent of community-dwelling older adults suffering from cognitive decline wander from their supervised homes at least once during their stay. Fortunately, there is emerging technology specific to older Americans with cognitive decline that can help. Bracelets that lock exits when a resident walks by are fairly common. Shoes with GPS chips send alerts if the wearer walks beyond certain programmed coordinates. Supervised walks are also helpful because they allow the patient a beneficial walk out in the fresh air and sunshine.  Many patients wander because they simply are sick of being inside, and an accompanied walk outdoors can restore their spirits.  If you are in the process of evaluating a facility for an older loved one with Alzheimer’s make sure they are fully licensed and adequately staffed.  Much nursing home abuse and injury arises from neglect, abandonment or elopement due to understaffing.

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In-home caregivers and nursing facilities taking on Alzheimer’s patients are being paid to provide the care and supervision their patients require.  If they fail to provide the required level of care and the patient is injured, the caregiver, his or her agency, or the nursing facility and its owner should be held accountable.  If you have a loved one injured from elopement or any other kind of elder abuse or neglect, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other elder and nursing home abuse attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=”mailto:info@evanslaw.com”>info@evanslaw.com</a>.

[1] Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in the case in any way,

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