It's possible to monitor the movements of animal herds from thousands of miles away, down to the specific caribou if necessary. If a researcher can say where a yak stands on the Mongolian steppe, shouldn't it be simple to keep tabs on a resident who wanders off a long term care campus in illinois?
Of course, it's not so easy to do for people. Yet, wandering residents, particularly those who suffer from forms of dementia such as Alzheimer's disease, continue to be a concern not only for facilities but also the communities in which they reside.
And, if more states echo an Illinois decision earlier this year to increase monetary penalties when municipal services need to be called for lost residents of LTC facilities, the financial incentive to address the issue could become more evident.
Typically, facilities distinguish between wandering and elopement, where the latter occurs when a resident consciously attempts to leave a facility. Regardless of what it's called, when residents inappropriately flee their caregivers, they put themselves at risk. Consequently, the facilities are at risk for allowing it to occur.
The Alzheimer's Association created its "Safe …