Nursing Home Abuse:

Wandering and Elopement

Wandering and elopement are two similar but distinct issues that may constitute nursing home abuse or neglect:

  • Elopement in a nursing home occurs when a patient who is incapable of protecting him or her herself from harm manges to leave the nursing home facility undetected by staff.
  • Wandering occurs when a cognitively-impaired resident is allowed to wander around the facility and potentially find him or herself in a dangerous sitation they can't handle.  

When a nursing home resident wanders or elopes and suffers an injury, the nursing home can be liable if they failed to hire enough staff, failed to property train staff, failed to employ alarms, or employed staff members who failed to respond to an alarm. These situations can occur when a staff member leaves for a smoke or lunch break and forgets to lock the door, or because there are not adequate staff or resources to monitor residents. If your loved one has been injured as a result of wandering or elopement in a nursing home, you may have a negligence claim.  Contact a nursing home lawyer to review your potential claim.