Residents Wandering and Leaving the Facility

Nursing homes are required to provide each resident with the appropriate level of supervision to address elopement and wandering behaviors. If a resident has a tendency to wander or has tried to leave the nursing home on his or her own, the nursing homes must recognize these behaviors and implement a care plan with measures to prevent the resident from leaving or wandering.

When long-term care residents are not properly supervised and allowed to move about or away from a facility on their own, they are at risk for suffering serious injuries and even death. Nursing home elopement and wandering are related concepts, and in most cases are a result of poor supervision by staff.

When nursing home staff members fail to implement measures to address wandering or elopement behaviors, residents are at a higher risk for falls, exposure to harsh weather conditions, and other significant dangers.