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Michigan Nursing Home Resident Wandering and Elopement Lawsuits

Michigan Nursing Home Wandering LawsuitsMichigan nursing home lawsuits are filed for claims of wandering and elopement from a skilled nursing care facility or assisted living facility in Michigan. Wandering can be a safe and healthy behavior for some residents, especially when it involves strolling through the hallways to reduce stress, for exercise, or for activity. Many residents are encouraged to wander inside the nursing home for those purposes.

However, wandering can become very dangerous and even deadly when a patient wanders or elopes away from the nursing home. Elopement occurs when a resident successfully leaves the nursing facility undetected and unsupervised. When a patient elopes from a nursing home and is injured, it can give rise to a claim for nursing home neglect. In the unfortunate event of a resident dying due to improper care at the nursing home, a wrongful death lawsuit may be filed.

Factors For Resident Wandering and Elopement

Several factors contribute to both wandering and elopement.  These include:

  • Agitation, anxiety, boredom, or stress
  • Disorientation to surroundings
  • Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease affecting judgment
  • Past patterns of the resident

Elopement and wandering away from a facility often occurs frequently in the first few weeks after a resident is initially placed into a facility. This is often attributed to the change in settings and the desire to return back home. Monitoring by the nursing home staff during this initial period is essential to prevent resident elopement.

Claims for Resident Wandering and Elopement

The nursing home staff must properly assess a resident for the potential risk of elopement based upon the factors noted above. The nursing home must have an elopement plan for high risk residents. This can include a bracelet on the wrist or ankle identifying the resident as a fall risk and placing photos of the high risk residents at all exits and doorways. Many residents have personal alarms to notify the staff if they attempt to leave the facility and staff should be required to regularly monitor and supervise residents who are likely to wander from the facility. 

Doors at the facility should have alarms to notify the staff if a patient is leaving out of a side door or emergency exit. Many times these alarms are disabled of simply do not work. Other times, the doors are not securely closed and locked.

Catastrophic and deadly injuries result when a resident wanders from the facility. Residents who are disoriented and have poor judgment can walk into a busy streets and get struck by a car. During the winter months, a resident can develop hypothermia and die due to the cold weather injuries. In the summer months, a resident can become dehydrated and die from that condition.

Our Michigan Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers

Our Michigan attorneys for nursing home neglect have significant experience handing cases against skilled nursing care facilities and assisted living facilities. We have a reputation for meticulous case preparation – an approach that results in major settlements for our clients. We have earned the highest possible rating in the legal profession for ability and integrity and are rated Superb by the top Internet lawyer rating service.

Contact Your Michigan Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer

For more information about filing a lawsuit for a resident who wanders away from the facility, call our Michigan nursing home attorneys about your case now at (800) 606-1717 or submit the Get Help Now form on this page and we will get back to you quickly.

Lawrence J. Buckfire
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Best Michigan personal injury lawyer winning highest settlements for injury, malpractice, & accident victims.