Adult Foster Care Facilities Can Be Liable For a Resident's Wandering

Nursing home or assisted living residents may be injured or killed as a result of wandering around a nursing home, falling in the adult foster care facility, or wandering away from the assisted living facility itself. Residents often wander outside the facility, become confused and disoriented, and are exposed to the harsh Northern Michigan elements or struck by a vehicle. Wandering is often a result of cognitively impaired or disoriented residents, who may have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia.

When a resident is injured as a result of wandering, an adult foster care or nursing home is often held liable for these injuries. If a nursing home employee knew that a resident was a wanderer and failed to take precautions, the facility can be held liable for the resident’s injuries and pay damages.

At a minimum, a nursing home must identify wanderers, develop prevention programs, and have a care plan in place that addresses a resident’s wandering. In Michigan, a federal district court found that a nursing home could be liable for a wanderer who escaped and suffered a head injury when it failed to monitor him even though employees were aware that he was likely to attempt an escape and were instructed to monitor him more closely.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or adult foster care facility, ensure that his or her care plan addresses any issues of wandering, includes any prior incidents of wandering, and employs seat alarms, bed alarms or entry and exit alarms.

If a parent or loved one has been injured at a nursing home or assisted living facility, please call us for a FREE consultation so that we may learn about your case.