I spent a few hours yesterday researching “elopement” cases in long term care facilities…. Yes, I mean accidents that occur when a resident leaves the facility, unattended. Many long term care residents are in good physical shape, such that they can walk and ambulate without assistance. If your loved one is a known wanderer (meaning, they will walk and walk) – tell the facility… Ask if there are door alarms. Ask if doors are locked. Ask if unlocked doors are monitored – and if cameras are used. Do residents have to sign out and in? What is there policy on notifying the police about missing residents.
In two hours, I found so many sad and horrible cases where loved ones eloped from the facility, only to be found hours to months later, injured, frozen, in pain, and many times, deceased. If they are not harmed by the weather, hurt by a car – sometimes simply being without food, water and medicine for extended time was enough to cause irreperable harm.
So please – if your loved one WANDERS, make sure the facility knows, and investigate how they will address the issue.