Families should be able to trust that their elderly loved ones are safe and taken care of in nursing homes. Some people place their family members in nursing homes because they need additional care and supervision that is harder to provide at home. This may be especially true if these elderly family members have problems with wandering because of dementia or Alzheimers.
Unfortunately, some nursing homes inadvertently allow their residents to wander, which can lead to severe injuries or even fatalities. If your loved one was injured after wandering away from their nursing home, you should speak with a West Palm Beach nursing home wandering lawyer. A seasoned nursing home abuse attorney could help you pursue compensation for your loved one and hold the nursing home accountable for their negligence.
Legal Rights of Nursing Home Residents
Nursing home residents have specific rights regarding their living conditions in these facilities. Under Florida Statute §400.022, nursing home residents have the right to:
- Be treated with respect and dignity
- Make decisions in their medical care
- Access to quality healthcare
- Choose a pharmacy and doctor
- Practice their religion
- Their medical and financial records
- Receive mail and participate in activities
If an assisted living facility fails to meet any of these needs, a jury or judge may find it liable for any damages it caused the plaintiff. A dedicated West Palm Beach nursing home wandering attorney could assess a resident’s case and determine if their care facility failed to meet this standard of care.
The Duty of a Nursing Home to Prevent Resident Wandering
Nursing homes are supposed to provide a safe environment for their residents, and this includes keeping them safe and supervised inside the facility. They have a legal duty to take care of their residents in a way that another reasonably prudent nursing home would. When caring for a patient who is at risk for wandering, the nursing home administration may need to hire additional staff, purchase alarm equipment, discuss medication changes with the resident’s physician, provide activities for distraction, or talk with the family about ways to prevent wandering.
If a resident wanders away from the nursing home facility, the staff has breached its legal duty of care and could be liable for any harm that this resident suffers. To obtain compensation of these injuries, a West Palm Beach assisted living wandering lawyer needs to prove that a resident suffered damages as a result of their escape. Damages can represent the financial and non-financial losses the plaintiff and their family incurred because of a nursing home’s breach of duty. These damages may include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Medical and funeral expenses
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of a bodily function
- Loss of companionship
- Legal fees
- Other incidental fees, like travel expenses
Call a Seasoned West Palm Beach Nursing Home Wandering Attorney
When a nursing home resident can wander away, this can be a sign of neglect on the part of the nursing home staff. If you suspect your loved one is wandering away from their care facility, you should report the nursing home for neglect and consult with a West Palm Beach nursing home wandering lawyer immediately. To start working on your claim, call today and schedule a case consultation.