Elopement by nursing home residents can lead to catastrophic results. Residents may suffer mental or physical trauma. Lawsuits and fines might jeopardize the facility. With such severe outcomes, insurance coverage is crucial. Equally vital are elopement risk mitigation practices.
Reducing Risk With Technology
Over the past decade, nursing homes have sought to provide a more homelike environment for their residents. Facilities with a homey atmosphere provide a higher quality of life and appeal to families seeking care for their elderly members. Recent advances in wireless monitoring devices permit thorough yet unobtrusive supervision of resident movements. Enjoying the homelike freedom to wander in a facility thus reduces the incentive to elope.
The downside? Monitoring systems can fail, and thus vigilant staff members are as vital as ever.
Reducing Risk With the Human Factor
Nursing assistants with several months on the job lessen the chances for elopement. Daily interaction with residents equips these front-line staffers with a valuable understanding of where and when a person in their care might wander. In a nursing home, lowering the risk of elopement is another value gained by retaining experienced staff.
The perils of elopement intersect with numerous other challenges facing nursing homes. Insurance coverage, monitoring systems and staff retention are three essential components of an elopement reduction strategy.