What You Should Know about Nursing Home Elopement

| Apr 25, 2023 | Firm News

If someone has been diagnosed with dementia, you may wonder about their future care. One option you may be considering is a nursing home. But you may have heard stories of people with dementia who wander off and become lost, known as elopement.

Elopement can be a scary idea, but there are steps you can take to prevent it. This guide will explain elopement, how to avoid it, and what to do if it occurs.

What Is  Nursing Home Elopement?

Nursing home elopement is defined as the unauthorized departure of a nursing home resident. It can also pose a serious risk to the resident’s safety. Elopement can lead to serious injury or even death. In addition, elopement can be a financial burden on the nursing home.

Why Does Nursing Home Elopement Happen?

There are many reasons why nursing home elopement happens. One reason is that nursing home residents may feel isolated and alone. They may feel like they are not receiving the attention they need and cannot regularly interact with others. This can make them depressed and anxious, making them want to leave the nursing home.

Another reason nursing home elopement happens is that the staff may not provide adequate supervision. This can occur if the staff needs to be adequately trained or if they need to pay attention to the residents. Additionally, if the nursing home is understaffed, this can also lead to elopement.

Finally, some residents may elope because they are trying to escape an abusive situation. If they feel like they are feeling ignored or mistreated, they may try to leave the nursing home to find help.

How to Prevent Nursing Home Elopement

There are several steps that nursing homes can take to prevent elopement. These steps include:

  • Conduct regular risk assessments to identify residents at risk of elopement
  • Implementing security measures such as alarms and security cameras
  • Ensure all doors and windows are secure and cannot be easily opened
  • Providing staff with training on how to prevent and respond to elopement
  • Creating a policy for responding to elopement incidents

By taking these steps, nursing homes can help to keep residents safe and prevent the costly and dangerous consequences of elopement.

What to Do If Your Loved One Has Eloped from a Nursing Home?

If your loved one has eloped from a nursing home, it is essential to take action immediately.

The first step is to notify the nursing home staff. They can help you search for your loved one and may have information on their whereabouts.

Next, you should notify the police. They can help you search for your loved one and may have information on their whereabouts. If your loved one has a medical condition, the police will also be able to notify local hospitals and clinics.

Reaching out to your loved one’s friends and family is also essential. They may have information on your loved one’s whereabouts or may be able to help you search for them.

Lastly, you should contact a lawyer. They can help you navigate the legal process of nursing home elopement.


It is vital to be conscious of the potential for nursing home elopement and to take steps to prevent it. There are many reasons why residents may attempt to leave the facility, and it is often confusing to determine the motives. However, some common risk factors can increase the likelihood of elopements, such as dementia or mental illness. If a resident does attempt to leave the nursing home, it is vital to act quickly to ensure their safety.

Mendes, Reins & Wilander is a personal injury law firm specializing in major and catastrophic injuries, nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and vehicle accidents. If you or your loved ones have been injured in any of these ways, please do not hesitate to contact us for a reliable consultation. We will help you get the compensation you deserve from a nursing home elopement.

What Qualifies as a Catastrophic Injury?

A catastrophic injury is a type of injury that has a lasting, devastating effect on the victim’s life. These injuries are often considered life-altering, as they often require extensive medical care and can cause physical, emotional, and financial strain on the victim and their family. Catastrophic injuries can be caused by a variety of accidents, including car accidents, medical malpractice, defective products, and workplace accidents, among others.

At its core, a catastrophic injury is any injury that causes permanent, long-term damage or disability. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment and can cause the victim to endure long periods of physical, emotional, and financial strain. Common examples of catastrophic injuries include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, amputations, severe burn injuries, and paralysis. In some cases, a catastrophic injury can even result in death.

When determining if an injury qualifies as a catastrophic injury, courts will consider a variety of factors. This includes the severity of the injury, the amount of medical care required, the amount of time the victim will need to recover, and the amount of financial burden the injury has caused. It is important to note that not all injuries that cause significant financial strain or medical care are considered catastrophic. Courts will only deem an injury to be catastrophic if it has caused a permanent disability or long-term limitations.

What Common Injuries Qualify As Catastrophic Injuries?

Catastrophic injuries are traumatic injuries that cause long-term physical disability and often require a lifetime of medical care. They can be caused by car accidents, falls, sports injuries, or other accidents. Common catastrophic injuries include spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, amputations, and burns.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries occur when the vertebrae of the spine become damaged, resulting in a loss of movement and sensation below the injury site. Common causes of spinal cord injuries include car accidents, sports injuries, and falls. The most severe spinal cord injuries can result in permanent paralysis and loss of bodily functions.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) occur when the brain is damaged due to a blow to the head or a penetrating injury. Common causes of TBIs include car accidents, falls, and sports injuries. TBIs can range in severity from mild concussions to severe disabilities that require lifelong care and assistance.


Amputations are the surgical removal of a limb due to traumatic injury, or due to medical conditions such as cancer or diabetes. Common causes of amputations include car accidents, falls, and industrial accidents. Amputations can result in severe physical and emotional trauma and require a lifetime of medical care and rehabilitation.


Burns occur when the body is exposed to extreme heat or chemicals. Common causes of burns include fire, chemical spills, and electrical accidents. Burns can cause severe physical pain and disfigurement, as well as emotional trauma. Severe burns can require extensive medical treatments and skin grafts, and may result in permanent scarring and disability.

What Types of Damages Can You Receive for a Catastrophic Injury?

When a person suffers a catastrophic injury, they may be entitled to compensation for the damages they have incurred. These damages can include both economic and non-economic losses.

Economic damages are those that can be calculated in monetary terms and include medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. These damages are designed to cover the concrete costs associated with the injury, such as medical treatment, rehabilitation, and the cost of any necessary adaptive equipment.

Non-economic damages are those that are more subjective and cannot be calculated in monetary terms. This can include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. These damages are intended to compensate victims for the emotional and psychological trauma associated with their injuries.

In addition to these damages, victims may also be entitled to punitive damages. These damages are intended to punish the wrongdoer for their negligence and are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s behavior was particularly egregious.


Essentially, catastrophic injury is a type of injury that results in long-term physical and/or psychological disability. It is an injury that has a significant impact on the person’s life, causing them to become dependent on care and assistance. Feel free to refer back to this article if you need a quick refresher on this topic.

If you’re looking for catastrophic injury lawyers in Tampa, Mendes, Reins & Wilander can help you! A catastrophic injury is something you don’t easily recover from, so our legal experts will ensure you get the compensation you deserve. Simply go to our website to request a free case evaluation!

Seeking legal recourse through a wrongful death lawsuit can help alleviate the financial burden often left behind after such a loss. It can be difficult to decide on the right lawyer for the job, but it is important to look for one who specializes in wrongful death cases. This can give the family a sense of justice and help ease the financial burden.

What Does a Wrongful Death Attorney Do?

A lawyer with specific experience in the field best handles a wrongful death claim. Working with an attorney with extensive knowledge of this particular area of the law is the best option. Wrongful death cases involve many legal topics, and the laws and cases that pertain to them are constantly changing. A lawyer specializing in wrongful death will have a much more solid understanding of the legal aspects of the case than a lawyer with a general knowledge of the law.

Finding a Wrongful Death Attorney

If you’re wondering how even to begin searching for a wrongful death attorney to handle your case, here are some tips to help:

1. Read Client Reviews

Reading past clients’ reviews can give insight into how experienced the attorney is and how satisfied their past clients have been with their services. This can help you decide if the attorney is a good fit for your case.

2. Search on the Florida Bar Association

The Florida Bar Association is a way to find local attorneys in the area who have experience with wrongful death cases. It is useful because you can look at the different attorneys, compare their profiles, and determine if they have had any disciplinary action taken against them. This helps you decide which attorney is best suited for your case.

3. Review the Lawyer’s Biography

Take a look at the lawyer’s biography to get a better understanding of their legal experience, as well as their personal background and communication style. Examining this information can help you decide if they are the right fit for your legal needs.

4. Ask for Friends and Family Referrals

Asking friends and family for advice can be a great way to find a good lawyer. Reach out to people you know who have had experience with a wrongful death or injury attorney in Fort Myers, and ask them to share their thoughts and experiences. It can give you more confidence in your selection of an attorney.

5. Interview the Lawyer

Take the time to talk to the attorney directly: If you have doubts about the lawyer’s suitability for your case, it is best to discuss it with them. This way, the lawyer can look into the details of your case more thoroughly and decide if they have the necessary skills and resources to help you. Many Florida wrongful death lawyers provide free initial consultations.


It is important to take time to research and find a qualified wrongful death attorney in Florida that has a proven track record of success. Taking the time to follow these steps will help ensure that you find an attorney that is the best fit for your case and will work diligently to obtain the best possible outcome.

Mendes, Reins, and Wilander is a personal injury law firm focusing on major and catastrophic injury, nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse, medical malpractice, wrongful death, and vehicle accidents like car, motorcycle, and commercial vehicles. Our mission is to fight to protect your rights and seek maximum justice and compensation for all serious injuries. We are focused on clients and driven by results. If you need a wrongful death attorney in Tampa, FL, get in touch with us! Let us know how we can help.