Seniors move into nursing homes and assisted living facilities because their health and well-being require comprehensive, constant, and competent care. When these facilities fail to provide the necessary and promised (and paid-for) care, needless tragedies are too often the result. Physical, cognitive, and psychological vulnerabilities can devolve into serious threats to the lives of nursing home residents if they are left unmonitored and unattended to for even short periods of time.
This kind of neglect, leaving residents deserted and alone to take care of themselves when they are unable to do so, is inexcusable and almost always the result of extreme negligence on the part of the nursing home and its staff. At The Brothers Law Firm, we won’t tolerate such treatment of our seniors by the very people entrusted with their care. We fight for justice and seek compensation for seniors and their families who have suffered when nursing home staff abandons them or allows them to be exposed to unnecessary dangers outside of the facility’s grounds.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, abandonment is defined as “the desertion of an elderly person by an individual who has assumed responsibility for providing care for an elder, or by a person with physical custody of an elder.” In nursing homes and assisted facility, it is the staff that abdicates that responsibility by deserting seniors for extended periods of time or leaving them to fend for themselves in a public place.
Because of immobility and other physical or cognitive limitations, these long periods without care or contact with others can have devastating effects. Seniors who can’t move on their own can be left in their room for days on end, creating a feeling of isolation and solitary confinement that can cause depression and anxiety. Those same physical limitations also leave them at high risk for potentially fatal falls when they try to move without necessary assistance. If they need help eating and drinking, malnourishment and dehydration are also likely if they are abandoned for long stretches.
For residents who do retain mobility, staff neglect and abandonment can lead to a whole other range of dangers, risks, and problems. Left unmonitored or unsupervised, seniors with existing psychological and cognitive issues such as dementia and Alzheimer’s may wander off and leave the home or facility unnoticed, exposed and vulnerable to a world they are in no condition to face on their own.
This kind of wandering, also called elopement, occurs in a large percentage of nursing home residents with dementia. They may believe that they need to go somewhere to attend to something important, get confused and leave the facility unintentionally.
Nursing homes are populated with residents with such conditions and need to take measures to minimize and avoid the known risk of resident elopement. This not only means monitoring and supervision by staff but also security systems, protocols, and personnel who can stop residents from leaving or alert staff to unapproved or unexpected resident departures. If a nursing home or similar facility fails to provide necessary staff or adopt appropriate preventative practices and a resident is injured or killed after they wander from the facility, it can constitute nursing home negligence which may be the basis of a claim for compensation.
If you or a loved one has suffered because of nursing home abandonment or elopement, we can help. At The Brothers Law Firm, we are committed to ensuring justice and demand respect for our seniors and their families.
To arrange for your free initial consultation with a nursing home abuse lawyer to discuss your nursing home abuse and neglect questions and concerns, please contact The Brothers Law Firm at 281-491-3635.