Why Wandering and Elopement is Dangerous: Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Explains

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Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Explains Why Wandering and Elopement is Dangerous

Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and rehabilitation centers do more than just provide care and treatment to residents.  They also provide supervision and a safe environment to live in.  This includes ensuring that residents are supervised to avoid suffering avoidable injuries.  Such injuries could injury falling, which is a very common source of injury for elderly individuals.  One way to prevent falling is to ensure that residents are not aimless wandering around.  Another way is to ensure that residents to not elope and go where they are not supposed to.  This is just part of properly supervising residents in a nursing homes, and it is nothing herculean or unheard of but rather a routine function of this type of facility.  However, our Oregon nursing home abuse lawyer knows that far too many nursing homes fail at guarding against wandering and elopement by not providing this type of supervision.

When a nursing homes fails to provide the required level of supervision required to prevent wandering and elopement, it could result in serious personal injuries to a resident.  Injuries from falls can result in catastrophic disability and wrongful death.  According to the CDC, statistics reveal that falls account for 48% of all emergency department visits for traumatic brain injuries—including 81% of all emergency department visits for adults aged 65 and older.  This is a massive number which is frightening that more than 4 out of 5 hospital ER visits are due to falls.  This is why nursing homes must properly care for their residents.

Why Wandering and Elopement is Dangerous

Wandering and elopement is dangerous because it increases the amount of chances for a person to trip and fall.  Think of it like driving a motor vehicle; the longer and further you drive each day, the more risk of an accident you have.  The same is true for walking.  Moreover, elderly residents in nursing homes may have several co-morbidities and conditions that could increase the risks of walking.  This includes vision problems, medications that could make them unstable, legs injuries, back injuries, dementia or other cognitive disability, dizziness, and other conditions due to aging or injuries.

Wandering and elopement can also result in very serious personal injuries if a resident falls.  Other times residents could put themselves in dangerous situations, including walking into traffic at night, drowning, or getting lost outside and succumbing to exposure.  Residents who wander and elope could cause serious or significant injuries in a fall, including the following:

  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
  • Spinal cord injuries (SCI)
  • Broken bones
  • Dislocations or separations, particularly of the hip or shoulder
  • Significant lacerations
  • Organ injuries
  • Infections or sepsis
  • Torn muscles, tendons, or ligaments, including in the knee, shoulder, or hip
  • Injuries to eyesight 
  • Burn injuries, and
  • Other serious or catastrophic personal injuries.

Ask Our Personal Injury Lawyer for Help if a Loved One Was Injured in a Fall

Wandering and elopement is a type of conduct that a family may not know about without an investigation.  This is because the nursing home will likely try to cover themselves by saying that the resident fell when getting out of bed, the shower, or during some other common and every day experience.  But you need to conduct an investigation because the client could have been wandering or eloped and was found injured somewhere else or where the resident was not supposed to be.  This means that residents may have sustained unnecessary fall injuries which a nursing home may try to claim—or lie—and say it was due to normal activities.

If you or a loved one have been seriously injured or killed as a result of nursing home abuse or neglect contact the Oregon Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers at Kuhlman Law at our number below or fill out the intake form.  We offer a free initial case evaluation and handle cases on a contingency fee which means that you pay no money unless we recover.  

Our law firm handles cases throughout the state including Bend and Portland Oregon, Redmond, Central Oregon, Sisters, Madras, Multnomah County, Deschutes County, Salem, Eugene, Corvallis, Lane County, Medford, Gresham, La Grande, Albany, Medford, Beaverton, Umatilla, Pendleton,  Cottage Grove, Florence, Oregon City, Springfield, Keizer, Grants Pass, McMinnville, Tualatin, West Linn, Forest Grove, Wilsonville, Newberg, Roseburg, Lake Oswego, Klamath Falls, Happy Valley, Tigard, Ashland, Milwakie, Coos Bay, The Dalles,  St. Helens, Sherwood, Central Point, Canby, Troutdale, Hermiston, Silverton, Hood River, Newport, Prineville, Astoria, Tillamook, Lincoln City, Hillsboro, and Vancouver, Washington.  

We also have an office in Minneapolis, Minnesota and take Nursing Home Abuse cases throughout the Twin Cities, including St. Paul, Hennepin County, Ramsey County, Dakota County, Washington County, Anoka County, Scott County, Blaine, Stillwater, and Saint Paul Minnesota.  

Please act quickly, there is a limited time (Statute of Limitations) in which you can bring a claim under the law. 

For a free case evaluation


(541) 385-1999 in Bend, Oregon
(503) 479-3646 in Portland, Oregon
(612) 444-3374 in Minnesota

– or fill out the form below –

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