Early Assessment Key to Identifying, Managing Wandering and Elopement

May 10, 2013 | Aging Services Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​Admission assessments should assess new residents’ risk for wandering and elopement as well as the facility’s ability to manage those risks given existing security mechanisms, according to a May 1, 2013, Provider: Long-Term & Post-Acute**Carearticle. Assessments should look not only for cognitive impairment or dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease but also for psychological factors, the resident’s mobility and ability to communicate, and medication and physiologic history. Prior wandering or elopement behaviors are significant in assessing the resident’s risk of repeating those behaviors; families may need to be educated about the importance of accurately conveying these past behaviors, particularly since some may hide them for fear that past behaviors may unjustly influence the nursing home’s admission decision.

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