Whether you run a tiny three-resident care facility out of your home or are in charge of a sprawling, multi-building complex for the elderly, resident wandering should be on your list of concerns. Working with the aged to keep them content and safe is a priority, and wandering can bring harsh and expensive legal consequences upon you as a caregiver.
Medical Bills and Legal Fees
If a confused resident falls down, wanders into traffic, or is mugged, your facility will likely be held liable for all medical bills if the family decides to sue. In addition, they may also ask for reimbursement of all legal fees. These costs can add up quickly and easily bankrupt a facility.
Pain, Suffering, and Mental Anguish
Once a lawsuit has been filed, the family may also choose to sue for the patient’s suffering brought on by any injuries or the simple terror of being lost and confused. Judges and juries can be very sympathetic in these cases, even when the family is asking for an outrageous sum.
Wrongful Death and Neglect Charges
In the horrible event a patient were to die during the course of wandering, the effects on your care home could be catastrophic. Homes without the resources to fight these charges successfully have been put out of business, while others suffered great losses that reduced the amenities they could offer to their residents.
Resident wandering is a serious problem, especially in personal care homes designed to assist the elderly. While there are precautions you can take to avoid wandering, being properly insured against any wandering-related mishaps can help you sleep better at night and avoid a disastrous legal battle.