Elant at Brandywine, a Westchester County nursing home in Briarcliff, New York was recently fined $38,150 by the U.S. Federal Government based on findings of substandard care made by surveyors during a September 2, 2009 investigation. According to the inspection report, surveyors cited the facility for failing have systems in place to adequately monitor and prevent residents with cognitive impairment and/or unsafe wandering or elopement behaviors from exiting the facility undetected.
The surveyors uncovered that a cognitively impaired resident who had eloped from the facility 2 days prior, eloped again during the night, and was found approximately 3 ½ hours later more than 3 miles from the facility by a staff member on her way to work. The staff had not placed a Wanderguard, a monitoring device, on the resident as would have been appropriate given her medical history. Elant at Brandywine received an immediate jeopardy citation, the most serious classification, as a result of this incident.
Elopement occurs when a nursing home resident, usually a resident with Alzheimer’s or dementia, is allowed to exit the facility without supervision. Elopement of cognitively impaired nursing home residents can result in falls, fractures, brain injuries, hypothermia or heat stroke.