What Is Nursing Home Elopement?
While we don’t know for certain the specifics of Mr. Davis’s case, we do know that over 80,000 people are living in licensed nursing homes, residential care facilities, and personal care homes scattered throughout the state of Pennsylvania. Families trust the nurses and staffers at these locations to provide their elderly loved ones with essential custodial care services, protective supervision, and emergency medical assistance. That said, one of their most important duties is preventing unsupervised wandering or “elopement.”
Elopement is common among residents with dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other mental impairments. In fact, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, about 60% of residents with dementia will attempt elopement while staying at a facility. Sadly, a nursing home resident can face countless dangers in the outside world, including slip and falls, acts of violence, motor vehicle accidents, and weather exposure.
A facility can prevent elopement by:
- Training staffers
- Installing alarms
- Identifying at-risk patients
- Offering engaging and distracting activities
- Devising patient supervision schedules
- Creating a secure dementia unit
Pennsylvania has stringent nursing home laws to ensure that all residents receive the highest standard of care. So, how did Sam Davis (75), a former Steelers lineman and four-time Super Bowl champion, “vanish” from his personal care home?
The Loss of Sam Davis
In the early hours of September 10, 2019, Sam Davis’ family reported that the former football star had gone missing from his personal care facility located in McKeesport, PA. The police and Davis’ family utilized Facebook and various news media sources to ask the community for assistance in locating the missing champion. During a public statement, the family explained that Davis suffered “from dementia, so he may be lost, confused or hurt and trouble walking and seeing.”
Police found the body of Sam Davis at the bottom of a stairwell – inside the facility – approximately 14 hours later. The police detectives have not found anything suspicious or criminal regarding Davis’ passing, but they also don’t know how he “went missing” for 14 hours.
Holding Nursing Homes Accountable for Acts of Negligence
The employees at the personal care home were responsible for Mr. Davis’ safety and well-being. The fact that Mr. Davis was able to go missing for 14 hours is alarming and certainly far from normal. If your loved one has suffered harm after eloping from a nursing home facility, contact the nursing home abuse attorneys at Robert Peirce & Associates, P.A. today. Our results-driven legal team has over 40 years of practical experience and a comprehensive understanding of the laws and regulations associated with this nuanced legal field. We can investigate the case, consult with experts, and develop a litigation strategy that holds the negligent parties accountable for any acts of misconduct and neglect.
To learn more, read Attorney Robert Daley's article on Trib Live.
Our experienced and compassionate legal team represents nursing home negligence cases in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Contact Robert Peirce & Associates, P.A.at (844) 383-0565 to schedule a free consultation today.