Elopement or Wandering

Elopement, or wandering, is another form of elderly abuse we see in Texas nursing homes. 

Residents with cognitive issues sometimes don’t remember where they are or where they are going. If a nursing facility doesn’t have proper safety measures, they can wander outside of the nursing home and get injured. 

What is Elopement in nursing homes?

Elopement is when a resident leaves a facility without permission. This becomes dangerous if the resident has cognitive issues like dementia or Alzheimer’s. Once away from the nursing home, they can get lost, confused, and scared because they don’t know where they are. They can also get into dangerous situations that can get them injured.

What is Wandering in Nursing Homes?

Wandering is when a resident leaves a safe area within the facility. Some nursing homes have secure areas specifically for dementia or Alzheimer’s patients to keep them safe. If they wander unsupervised to an unfamiliar area, injuries can occur. Texas nursing homes are notoriously understaffed, leading to residents going unmonitored.

Elopement and Wandering Injuries

Injuries from nursing home elopement or wandering depend on the time of year, location of the facility, and how long the resident has been gone. Possible injuries include:

  • Being hit by a car or bike
  • Over-heating in the summer
  • Hypothermia in the winter
  • Missing doses of medication
  • Dehydration and malnutrition
  • Falling
  • Broken bones
  • Drowning
  • Death


Nursing homes are required to have certain safety measures to keep residents safe. If they are understaffed or don't have security measures in place, residents can wander and get severly injured.


If your elderly loved one has been injured by being allowed to wander away from a facility, call Powers Taylor today. Our experienced nursing home attorneys know how to hold nursing homes liable for not keeping our loves ones safe.



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