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What Should You Know about Security in Nursing Homes?

By Walton Law APCOctober 30, 2021March 4th, 2023No Comments

If you’re trying to choose a nursing home for your parent or other loved one, don’t forget to think about security considerations. Even if they are already a nursing home resident, you should keep an eye out for possible safety issues.

What Can Happen with a Lack of Security in Nursing Homes?

Being secure in one’s living environment is important for everyone, but living in a nursing home comes with specific challenges. When security measures aren’t properly addressed, it can have dangerous consequences for nursing home residents.

Wandering and Elopement

If a resident has Alzheimer’s, dementia, or another mental disability, they can be more prone to wandering and elopement. Wandering may include a resident who wanders off from the group into another part of the nursing home, but elopement occurs when the resident wanders completely away from the facility.

Without proper supervision and security, it’s more likely for a resident to leave the premises. That’s why it’s so critical to have enough staff to watch over the residents and ensure that they don’t slip out unnoticed. The operators of nursing homes must take precautions to lower the risks of danger. Some of the risks can include the following:

  • Falls;
  • Malnutrition or dehydration;
  • Medication errors;
  • Extreme weather exposure;
  • Getting hit by vehicles;
  • Broken bone injuries; and/or
  • Death.

Elder Abuse

Another major area of concern that may happen as a result of lack of security is elder abuse. While nursing homes must establish security guidelines to keep residents in, they must also take safety measures to keep strangers out. Inadequate security can lead to elder abuse including:

  • Physical assault;
  • Sexual assault, such as rape;
  • Theft; and/or
  • Financial abuse. 

What Kinds of Security to Look for in Nursing Homes?

Nursing homes need to have reliable security measures and care plans in place, especially with the aim of tailoring it to accommodate their at-risk residents. Here are examples of typical nursing home security features:

  • Check-in registration and identification for visitors: This is a good way to keep track of comings and goings by keeping a physical record to know who is on the premises.
  • Video surveillance: The facility should have video surveillance placed throughout, including all of the entrance and exit doors.
  • Alarm systems: Alarms and device systems can inform staff when at-risk residents leave their rooms or the grounds.
  • Adequate staffing: Understaffing causes many problems for nursing homes in general, but it is especially true for security issues. When there are enough staff members to attend to the residents’ needs, there are less problems with safety.

Help Keep Your Parents or Loved Ones Safe in Nursing Homes

Everyone should feel safe in their home, and this includes nursing home residents. Nursing home administrators are obligated to provide safety for their residents. When they don’t, you may have a cause of action for a lawsuit. If you suspect that your loved one has been harmed in their nursing home due to a lack of security, then find out what to do about it. You can talk to a Walton Law nursing home attorney for more information. Contact us right away.

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