Elopement risk in nursing homes is a predominant concern for the managers and staff. Elopement refers to dependent residents leaving care facilities under circumstances that place their safety, health or welfare in danger.
Senior living places must address likely dangers and take steps to prevent the possibility of wandering patients.
People who express their desire to leave a facility should be monitored and checked regularly. Those that often complain about their stay or who see themselves as caretakers of a pet or garden elsewhere may leave to attend to their responsibilities.
In senior living buildings, safety technologies and systems prevent incidents. Alarm systems, bracelets, GPS devices and more help keep residents safe and assist staff.
Owners of senior care homes can prevent older adults from leaving the building by making the exits harder to locate. Circular floor layouts and painted murals on exit doors make it more difficult for patients to go outside unsupervised.
Staff should allow occupants to take supervised walks in safe areas both outside and inside the facility. These outings are beneficial to residents’ physical and mental well-being and decrease the likelihood of wandering alone.
Adequate staffing and proper training are essential elements that ensure a safe environment. Employees must be aware of high-risk individuals and know the procedures and plans for a wandering patient.
Managing elopement risk in nursing homes is vital to maintain a safe space that protects those living there from straying.