Placing an aging loved one in a nursing home is a huge act of trust as much as it is a source of relief for many families. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, the relief is short-lived and the family’s trust is violated. Even when a nursing home or other care facility comes highly recommended, some patients do not receive the care and protection they deserve, and the family must take matters into their own hands to protect their loved one from inattention or abuse.

One of the most common and harmful forms of neglect that occurs in nursing homes is simply allowing residents to wander off campus and into dangerous territory. If you recently experienced a loved one wandering out of a nursing home, this is not a matter that you should take lightly. Some elder care facilities may try to gloss over the matter, framing it a humorous incident, but there is nothing funny about allowing an elderly person in need of supervision to wander freely into danger.

In broad terms, this qualifies as neglect, and, in many instances, may provide grounds for a lawsuit. If you believe that your loved one’s ordeal may justify a lawsuit, make sure to build a strong legal strategy using excellent legal resources and guidance, to keep your loved one protected and their rights as a patient secure.

How did the wandering incident occur?

Wandering out of a nursing home can happen many different ways, but in today’s climate there are far fewer excuses for allowing such behavior. For instance, many nursing homes use bracelets worn by residents to identify each individual and indicate where they can or cannot be.

Whether these bracelets or other identifying tools contain tracking technology of some kind or not, each home should have a well-established protocol that outlines how to contain residents who are prone to wander without abusing them. Of course, neglect is certainly a form of abuse, especially in a setting where the resident or their loved ones pay thousands of dollars each month to ensure that someone is paying attention to their needs and keeping them out of harm’s way.

While the human spirit is difficult to restrain, a well-established system for containing residents is an integral part of any nursing home, and deserves serious attention. It is important to not allow a nursing home to minimize a wandering-off incident or attempt to blame it on your loved one, even if they are the type of personality prone to create these kinds of complications.

Nursing homes should all be capable of delivering the services they advertise and remain accountable when they do not deliver. This is especially true when neglectful inattention places the one you love in danger.

Don’t wait to protect your loved one’s rights

The sooner you take legal action, the sooner you can secure your loved one’s rights and ensure that they truly have the care and protection that they deserve. Don’t wait to use the full strength of the law to pursue a fair resolution and hold a nursing home accountable for the care and attention that they are paid to provide.