Your family member walked away from their nursing home or went missing.
The nursing home did not realize they were missing until it was too late.
The nursing home industry and lawyers dealing with nursing home negligence call this Elopement.
This is not like marriage elopement where you skip the wedding formalities and just run off and get married.
When you put your family member in a nursing home or some sort of assisted living facility, you expect them to be safe, at a minimum.
Danger is to be expected when a patient who is supposed to be supervised leaves a nursing home facility unattended or without supervision.
Patients are in the nursing home because they need supervision.
They may have Alzheimers or other memory impairments. If the patient has memory impairments or other problems making good decisions, they will find it hard to get back to the facility. Or they will wander into dangerous situations like crossing unfamiliar streets or wandering into the woods.
Many of the worst elopement cases are ones where a patient, who was supposed to be supervised, wanders off into the woods and dies of exposure, or loses function from exposure.
A nursing home can prevent elopements by installing locking systems to keep residents from venturing out without supervision. Key cards, bed alarms, and other routine systems used in schools will foil inadvertent elopement situations.
Oftentimes, patients are sadly seeking to return to their homes or families from the unfamiliar or unpleasant nursing home setting. However the patient, who is intentionally eloping, is still entitled to proper supervision, which means keeping them safe from their unsafe intentions.