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Best Practices for Elopement Prevention

The senior living industry is responsible for keeping their residents safe every single day. Failing to do so can have monumental regulatory and litigation impact.

Elopement occurs when a resident leaves the premises or a safe area without authorization and/or necessary supervision to do so. A resident who leaves a safe area may be at risk of heat or cold exposure, dehydration and/or other medical complications, drowning, or being struck by a motor vehicle.

Facility policies should clearly define mechanisms and procedures for assessing or identifying, monitoring and managing residents who are at risk for elopement. In addition, the resident at risk should have interventions in their comprehensive plan of care to address the potential for elopement. The facility’s disaster and emergency preparedness plan should also include plans for locating a missing resident and, if not already conducting, schedule quarterly elopement drills with one during evening hours.

Contact the AP Senior Living team to assess and optimize your risk management programs.  

Source: CMS, State Operations Manual

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