Los Angeles Elopement and Wandering Attorney
Sometimes it becomes too much to take care of the ones we love on our own. When our aging family members are diagnosed with dementia, Alzheimer’s, or other conditions, we often turn to nursing facilities for help. We trust that a nursing home will have the tools and resources necessary to keep our elderly loved ones safe. Unfortunately, elopement and wandering are far too common in Los Angeles nursing homes because of inadequate care.
Has someone you love gotten hurt because their nursing home caretakers let them wander off, unsupervised? You might want to consider filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit against the negligent facility. The experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyers at Glotzer & Leib, LLP can help you fight for the money you deserve. Call our law office today to schedule your free consultation and learn more.
What is Elopement?
Elopement means that a nursing home resident wanders through or outside of a nursing facility without supervision. Studies show that approximately 31 percent of nursing home residents wander at least once. Elopement is much more common in residents suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. The Alzheimer’s Association estimates that 60 percent of residents with dementia will wander at some point in time.
Why Does Elopement Happen at Los Angeles Nursing Homes?
Elopement should never happen. There should never be a time when a nursing home resident is left unsupervised and allowed to wander away from his or her caretakers. Elopement only happens when nursing homes:
- Provide inadequate care,
- Hire inexperienced and unqualified caretakers, or
- Don’t have proper security measures in place.
If nursing homes are on top of things, there should be several mechanisms in place to monitor and supervise residents at all times.
Why is Elopement Dangerous?
There’s a reason that you decided to have your aging family member live at an assisted living facility. It’s because you realized they needed constant care and attention. You felt that they needed more care than they could provide for themselves. You understood that they could possibly hurt themselves if they were left alone.
When a nursing home resident wanders, this is precisely what can happen. The resident leaves their safe environment, which significantly increases the risk of severe injury or, in some cases, death. Studies have shown that residents who wander are twice as likely as others to sustain a fracture in a fall. Other consequences of elopement include:
- Anxiety and fear
- Weight loss
- Undocumented falls, and
The fact that many nursing home residents are on multiple medications at one time can make elopement quite dangerous. Residents may be less steady on their feet and more prone to falls. Others may miss out on critical doses of their medication when they wander off.
Risk Factors for Elopement and Wandering
Nursing homes should have mechanisms in place to prevent residents from wandering. These mechanisms should include trained staff who can identify residents who may be more prone to wandering behaviors. Research shows that residents are more likely to wander if they are:
- Diagnosed with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease
- Showing signs of aggression, agitation, or irritability
- Unsettled by environmental factors, such as noise
- Sleeping poorly, or
Residents who were particularly socially outgoing and adventurous in their early lives are also more prone to wandering.
Negligence is Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse doesn’t necessarily have to mean that your loved one has been physically or emotionally abused by staff members or caretakers. Negligence, or failing to provide adequate care, can also be considered abuse.
If your loved one has been allowed to wander through or out of their nursing home without supervision, that’s a clear sign of negligence. If your loved one gets hurt or suffers in any way because they were allowed to wander, you have the right to demand compensation. The nursing home breached its duty of care to you and your family. Our nursing home abuse lawyers can help you hold them fully accountable for the harm they’ve allowed to happen.
Damages Available to Victims of Nursing Home Negligence
When a nursing home resident wanders, they risk suffering severe physical and emotional injuries. These injuries can require extensive (and expensive) medical care. Many times, their injuries will leave them in chronic pain for the rest of their lives. They may suffer complications that, had they not been allowed to elope, would have never occurred.
In California, you can hold the negligent nursing facility fully accountable for your loved one’s suffering and financial expenses. Our attorneys will help you demand the damages you deserve. This might include money for:
- Other medical bills
- The cost of a new nursing facility
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma, including depression and anxiety
- Loss of enjoyment of life, and more.
Don’t let the negligent nursing home off the hook for the harm they’ve caused. Contact our experienced nursing home abuse lawyers for immediate legal assistance.
When Do I Have to File an Elopement Injury Claim?
Don’t take too long to assert your legal rights. The statute of limitations for bodily injury claims is typically two years. So, you have two years from the date your loved one gets hurt to file a claim for damages. You risk losing out on the money you deserve if you don’t file your claim on time.
Not sure how long you have to file your California nursing home abuse lawsuit? Our attorneys can help. Call our law firm today to schedule a free case assessment.
Get Help With Your Los Angeles Nursing Home Elopement Injury Case
It’s scary to learn that a nursing home allowed your elderly loved one to wander off on their own. The thing you feared has happened. Someone you love got hurt. Make sure that you hold the negligent nursing home responsible.
Our attorneys can help you fight for the money you deserve. Nursing home abuse lawsuits can be particularly complicated. Our attorneys have more than 14 years of experience handling these challenging cases. We understand how devastated and scared you must be. We’ll do our best to make sure that you and your family are fully compensated for all of your suffering. Call our office today to schedule a free consultation.