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480.991.7677

scottsdale • phoenix

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No recovery no fee

480.991.7677

scottdale phoenix

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No recovery no fee

480.991.7677

scottsdale • phoenix
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Phoenix Wandering and Elopement Attorney

Stories of older people wandering off—frequently referred to as “elopement”—and becoming lost hit the news with some frequency in Phoenix as well as the rest of the country. These people are almost invariably afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease or similar conditions (dementia) that affect their cognitive abilities and/or memory. This problem exists at nursing homes as well as private residences, but need for better supervision and protection of the older person was one of the reasons that the person was placed in the nursing home to begin with. A Phoenix wandering and elopement attorney at Knapp & Roberts can help you build a case against the facility whose lack of supervision has caused devastating damages.

Risks for Wandering Behavior

Existing cognitive impairments are the most common reason for wandering, but many other factors make wandering more likely.

Many incidents occur very soon after the resident arrives at one of the Phoenix nursing homes. For people with cognitive problems, strange environments are often disconcerting. The facility is or should be aware that this is a time of elevated risk.

Other indicators that residents are risks for wandering off include:

  • Recent changes in medication that has cognitive effects
  • Recent change in schedule or living arrangements (new wing, new room, etc)
  • Focus or obsession on a specific location from the residents’ past (especially “home”)

Injuries While Wandering

Arizona nursing home residents who wander are at increased risk of injury in a variety of ways:

  • Falling (wanderers have an increased risk of fractures)
  • Being hit by cars
  • Being assaulted by strangers
  • Freezing in cold weather, suffering heat illness in hot weather
  • Drowning
  • Missing needed medications
  • Missing food and drink, if they are gone long

Any of these injuries may result in death.

The longer wandering residents are off on their own, the greater the likelihood of injury.

Basis for Holding Phoenix Nursing Homes Responsible

When a resident has disappeared or been injured after wandering away from the facility, an experienced Phoenix wandering and elopement attorney can systematically review the resident’s records and the facility’s procedure with an eye to answering the following questions:

  • What is the facility’s record in identifying and preventing wandering (inspection deficiencies; past incidents)?
  • What kind of training do staff members get on the problem of wandering?
  • How does the facility go about identifying potential wanderers?
  • What plans and devices does the facility employ to prevent or minimize wandering?
  • Was the patient identified as a wandering risk?
  • If not, did the intake records indicate past wanderings by the resident?
  • If not, was the resident evaluated for wandering tendencies; if so, how long before the current incident occurred; did the resident’s records indicate that he/she was a wandering risk?
  • If so, was an individual plan developed to prevent wandering?
  • Did the facility have enough staff to carry out the individual plan?
  • Was the staff adequately trained to carry out the plan?
  • Were the terms of the plan being carried out at the time the resident wandered off?

Most of these questions also apply to the amount of time it took for the facility to notice that residents were missing and the adequacy of the facility’s efforts to locate them.

Get Help in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and the Surrounding Area

Nursing home wandering incidents are preventable and cause considerable grief, injury, and distress when they aren’t prevented. Efforts to hold nursing homes accountable for these injuries and deaths in Arizona are best undertaken by specialized a Phoenix elder abuse attorney who has done so before, and successfully.

The legal team at Knapp & Roberts has that experience and knows how difficult it is for families who have already been through the trauma of a family member wandering off, and now face a tough fight with the nursing home. Get some help today. Call us today for a free review of the incident. There’s no cost to you unless we take and win your case. We provide personal attention at every stage of your case, and do everything possible to settle it reasonably and quickly. If a trial is necessary to hold the nursing home accountable, we will handle that effectively and efficiently. Don’t wait until it is too late. Time restrictions are in place, so the time to act is now.

Let us tell your story

we care, and we can help. Contact us 480-991-7677 or fill out the form below

The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.