Many times, when elders move into a nursing home, it’s because they cannot perform basic tasks for themselves or lack the cognitive function to live without assistance. The decision to move into a nursing home is often a difficult one for the person moving and their loved ones. An already difficult situation should not be made worse by negligent or abusive staff.
Elders deserve to live in comfort and safety, but unfortunately, elder abuse is a widespread problem in nursing homes. Wandering and elopement describe the dangerous situations when a resident walks away from proper supervision, and it can occur inside (wandering) or outside (elopement) the facility. If you or a loved one was in a wandering or elopement situation and sustained an injury due to the negligence of nursing home staff, then call us at Brown & Barron. Our Arbutus attorney for elopement and wandering injuries is ready to fight for you.
Reasons Nursing Home Staff May Let the Elderly Wander
Sometimes wandering or elopement happens because the staff is negligent, and other times it’s because management doesn’t supply the staff with enough training, equipment, or a large enough team to perform the job correctly. Regardless, a victim of a wandering or elopement injury or their family should not be left to pay medical bills alone if they were supposed to be under nursing home supervision.
Understaffing Can Lead to Less Individual Attention for Nursing Home Residents
Understaffing is a big problem among nursing homes. Many nursing homes are currently understaffed, which is a likely indicator of why elopement and wandering injury cases in nursing homes are so prevalent.
When a nursing home is understaffed, it means they don’t have enough staff members to meet the needs of the many residents in their care, creating a situation where each staff member is so busy that many residents are often left unattended for far too long. When the elderly are left unattended, it’s possible they could wander or elope either because they need things they aren’t getting from the staff or because their mental faculties are impaired.
Get in touch with a elopement & wandering lawyer serving Arbutus, 410-547-0202 for a free case evaluation.
Wandering Injuries Could Be Elder Abuse in the Form of Negligence
Nursing home staff are not only responsible for taking care of the elderly’s most basic needs but also for regularly checking on them and making sure they aren’t in danger of harming themselves. Negligence is recognized as a form of elder abuse by Maryland and the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). It refers to situations in which caregivers are not attentive to the needs of the elderly, either through indifference, forgetfulness, or many other reasons.
Nursing Home Residents Reporting Negligence
The NCEA says that 11.6% of the elderly in institutions such as nursing homes reported neglect from the staff. This is one of the most common forms of elder abuse in nursing homes, but the NCEA says it’s likely there are far more instances of abuse than what is reported by the victims.
Common Wandering Injuries
When elderly residents do not receive proper supervision and wander or elope, the biggest dangers are that they could have a fall, which could lead to various injuries, some of which are potentially deadly.
The largest hazard in this regard is they could suffer a broken hip, a severe ailment that takes a physical toll on any elderly person who suffers it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that over 300,000 people aged 65 and older are hospitalized with hip fractures every year in the United States. They also say these injuries become more likely as people age and that 95% of hip fractures are caused by falls.
Repairing a hip fracture can cost tens of thousands of dollars, and according to Pennsylvania University Medicine, it can take between nine months and one year to fully recover from this injury in old age. You shouldn’t be left to pay these costs if it was caused by nursing home negligence.
This is another example of an injury that may be caused by falling, or even if an elderly person accidentally hits their knee against a piece of furniture or a wall. As people age, their bones tend to be less dense, so it’s easier to be injured.
These would be a severe example of a wandering or elopement injury and one that is likely only to occur after a fall. When an elder is left unattended, they could not only fall on a flat surface but on stairs which could conceivably lead to damage to the spine.
Our Attorneys at Brown & Barron Can Help Recover Damages to Pay for Injuries
Injuries as severe as these come with medical bills you shouldn’t have to pay if these costs were caused by the negligence of the nursing home.
Our attorneys at Brown & Barron will fight for you and your loved ones and do everything we can to ensure you see justice. If your loved one was injured because of a wandering or elopement injury, then it may be the fault of the nursing home staff or management. If this is the case, you should not have to take on the burden of paying those medical bills yourself.
Call Now for a Free Consultation Regarding Your Arbutus Case
Call anytime for a free consultation. Even if you’re not sure if your loved one’s wandering injury was caused by negligence, it is still worth talking to our Arbutus attorneys, who have seen many elopement and wandering injuries cases like yours.
Our team offers advice and support and can determine whether taking legal action is necessary. If so, we will handle your Baltimore County case from start to finish while you and your family care for one another.
Contact Brown & Barron online today to schedule a free case review with a with a elopement & wandering lawyer serving Arbutus.