Can a Nursing Home Be Held Accountable for Wandering Patients?

Woman worried about her elderly parent who eloped from a nursing home

Emotions are high if a loved one wanders off from their nursing home. Afterward, some may ask who should be held responsible for this happening. Unfortunately, the answer is not always clear.

Nursing Homes Have a Duty to Care For Their Patients

Nursing homes are responsible for providing patients with a safe and secure environment. This includes ensuring their physical, mental, and emotional needs are met. Additionally, the premises must always be supervised to reduce elopement risk. Should a patient elope, the nursing home’s legal obligation is to take immediate steps to locate the patient and return them to safety.

It is also important that they consider the rights of family members and support carers should an elopement occur. Employees should inform loved ones as soon as possible if elopement occurs so that they can determine the best course of action. Nursing homes must ensure they have adequate procedures to protect the well-being of their patients and those who may be affected if a patient elopes.

Family Members May Take Legal Action if Their Loved One Wanders and is Injured

There are serious legal ramifications for nursing homes when a patient elopes, and care facilities must take all necessary precautions to prevent this from happening. Particularly vulnerable patients may lack the capacity to recognize potential dangers and risk putting themselves in unsafe situations. Nursing homes must ensure proper safety measures are in place for such individuals and be held accountable if lapses occur. Failure to do so can have devastating effects on the resident and their family.

Before a family takes legal action against a nursing home, the facts of the case must be examined. While this may be complex, family members must know their legal rights and seek advice to understand their options.

Protecting People’s Rights

Nursing homes have a duty to care for their patients and ensure they don’t wander off the premises. If your loved one wandered off and was injured, you may be able to take legal action against the nursing home.

Our Kansas City nursing home elopement lawyers at Law Office of Tom Wagstaff Jr., LLC will work with you to see which legal options are available. We are committed to fighting for your family’s safety — reach out to our experienced team so we can get the justice your family deserves. (816) 597-4556

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