Boca Raton is home to a significant number of elderly residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Those who live in nursing homes have a right to a high standard of care, and your loved one wandering around their home unsupervised or leaving the facility without authorization could be the reason for you to question the quality of care in your loved one’s facility. Wandering and elopement could be signs of substandard care, and you may have grounds to bring a lawsuit for any danger that your loved one has been exposed to.
Speaking with the team for a Boca Raton wandering and elopement lawyer could help you decide whether to pursue legal action. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 for a free consultation.
Nursing Homes Have a Standard to Live Up To
The Florida Administrative Code Chapter 59A-4 lists rules that nursing homes must live up to, governing several different aspects of care. Nursing homes may also be held to a more general duty of care for their residents, which the Legal Information Institute (LII) explains as a duty to act as a reasonably prudent person (or entity) would.
Some of the general responsibilities of administrators, directors, and staffers in a nursing home setting may include:
- To ensure that your loved one bathes on a regular basis
- To ensure that your loved one is fed and provided drink whenever they need
- To ensure that your loved one receives any necessary medications as prescribed
- To protect your loved one from harm
- To inform you of any significant changes in your loved one’s well-being
- To provide your loved one with safe channels to report abuse, neglect, and other forms of mistreatment
- To monitor your loved one’s behaviors in a reasonably prudent manner
- To abide by legally required staffing minimums, and to exceed those minimums if they are not sufficient to care for residents in the home
Preventing your loved one from wandering and potentially eloping from the nursing home facility is a clear responsibility of nursing home staff and administrators. A nursing home may address the issue of a wandering resident specifically by:
- Identifying residents such as your loved one who have shown a penchant for wandering
- Ensuring that on-duty staff is alerted to and reminded of residents who are at risk of wandering and trying to exit the nursing home
- Using technology such as closed-circuit cameras and alarms to keep tabs on at-risk residents and alert staff to unauthorized exiting from the home
- Ensure that staff are conducting regular, in-person checkups on all residents, and especially those who are prone to wandering
Those in charge of communicating with residents’ loved ones should alert you if your loved one has been known to wander within the home, and especially if they have successfully or unsuccessfully attempted to leave the premises. This could be an indication of a health condition that has yet to be diagnosed or may be an indication of other issues that require your attention.
A nursing home could also be responsible for wandering or elopement that exposed your loved one to danger. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 to learn more about how a Boca Raton wandering and elopement lawyer may go the extra mile to protect your loved one.
Wandering and Elopement Could Signal Larger Problems
If you find out that your loved one has been wandering within their nursing home, or that they have exited the home without permission, then it may be just one of many problems at the nursing home in question.
For instance, your loved one being able to wander unattended throughout the home may be a symptom of understaffing. The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) notes that understaffing is a common problem among nursing homes, and may also lead to:
- Your loved one not receiving hygiene-related care as frequently as they should
- Your loved one developing bedsores and other symptoms of neglect
- Your loved one becoming the victim of exploitation or abuse because staffers are not properly monitoring them
- Your loved one falling, choking, or suffering other dangers that could be the result of too few staff members on hand
Your loved one’s wandering may be the reason for further investigation of the nursing home where they are living or lived in the past. A lawyer may help you learn more about the possible harm that your loved one has suffered in a nursing home.
A Lawyer May Handle Your Nursing Home Lawsuit
Hiring a lawyer may provide several benefits, including the defense of your loved one’s rights and leadership in the pursuit of justice against a negligent nursing home or individual. A lawyer may handle as much of your lawsuit as possible, taking the responsibility out of your hands.
Some of the specific duties that your lawyer may perform include:
- Gathering evidence that your loved one is the victim of negligence
- Recording any witness testimony that suggests your loved one has been mistreated
- Consulting experts in the field of nursing home care standards
- Calculating the harm your loved one has suffered because of nursing home negligence
- Documenting any injuries that your loved one has suffered because of nursing home mistreatment
- Negotiating a settlement with representatives for defendants named in your loved one’s lawsuit
- Completing a trial if it is necessary
The lawyer you hire will aim to prove that your loved one has suffered because of negligent care, abuse, or exploitation, and that they have suffered measurable losses as a result.
Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine Today
Your loved one could be entitled to compensation if they were put at risk by negligent care in a nursing home setting, and a Boca Raton wandering and elopement lawyer may be able to lead your case for compensation. Call the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at 1-800-747-3733 for details about our brand of responsive legal care.
We Can Help.