Due to the unpredictable nature of many forms of dementia, there is a special consideration for the safety of people that are living with the disease process, especially for those who wander. Residents may aimlessly walk about the community with no real direction as to where they are going, or they will be steadfast in their efforts to reach the exit door. Your facility staff must be prepared with tactics to redirect these residents to ensure they are safe within the community. For more information on the AHCA regulation regarding resident elopement in an ALF check out below:
59A-36.007 Resident Care Standards.
(8) ELOPEMENT STANDARDS.
(a) Residents Assessed at Risk for Elopement. All residents assessed at risk for an elopement or with any history of elopement must be identified so staff can be alerted to their needs for support and supervision. All residents must be assessed for risk of elopement by a health care provider or a mental health care provider within 30 calendar days of being admitted to a facility. If the resident has had a health assessment performed prior to admission pursuant to paragraph 59A-36.006(2)(a), F.A.C., this requirement is satisfied. A resident placed in a facility on a temporary emergency basis by the Department of Children and Families pursuant to section 415.105 or 415.1051, F.S., is exempt from this requirement for up to 30 days.
1. As part of its resident elopement response policies and procedures, the facility must make, at a minimum, a daily effort to determine that at-risk residents have identification on their persons that includes their name and the facility’s name, address, and telephone number. Staff trained pursuant to paragraph 59A-36.011(10)(a) or (c), F.A.C.,
must be generally aware of the location of all residents assessed at high risk for an elopement at all times.
2. The facility must have a photo identification of at-risk residents on file that is accessible to all facility staff and law enforcement as necessary. The facility’s file must contain the resident’s photo identification upon admission or upon being assessed at risk for elopement subsequent to admission. The photo identification may be provided by the facility, the resident, or the resident’s representative.
(b) Facility Resident Elopement Response Policies and Procedures. The facility must develop detailed written policies and procedures for responding to a resident elopement. At a minimum, the policies and procedures must
1. An immediate search of the facility and premises,
2. The identification of staff responsible for implementing each part of the elopement response policies and
procedures, including specific duties and responsibilities,
3. The identification of staff responsible for contacting law enforcement, the resident’s family, guardian, health
care surrogate, and case manager if the resident is not located pursuant to subparagraph (8)(b)1.; and,
4. The continued care of all residents within the facility in the event of an elopement.
(c) Facility Resident Elopement Drills. The facility must conduct and document resident elopement drills pursuant to sections 429.41(1)(a)3. and 429.41(1)(l), F.S.
Rulemaking Authority 429.41 FS. Law Implemented 429.255, 429.26, 429.28, 429.41 FS. History–New 9-17-84, Formerly
10A-5.182, Amended 10-20-86, 6-21-88, 8-15-90, 9-30-92, Formerly 10A-5.0182, Amended 10-30-95, 4-20-98, 11-2-98,
10-17-99, 7-30-06, 10-9-06, 4-15-10, 4-17-14, 5-10-18, Formerly 58A-5.0182, 7-1-19.
• (a) Residents Assessed at Risk for Elopement. All residents assessed at risk for an elopement or with any history of elopement must be identified so staff can be alerted to their needs for support and supervision. All residents must be assessed for risk of elopement by a health care provider or a mental health care provider within 30
calendar days of being admitted to a facility. Every resident who enters your facility shall be assessed for elopement risks as noted on the 1823 form. If the resident
is deemed to be at risk for an elopement you must have preventions in place to ensure their safety. If the resident elopes and you do not have there will be issues with the AHCA team.
• (c) Facility Resident Elopement Drills. The facility must conduct and document resident elopement drills pursuant to sections 429.41(1)(a)3. and 429.41(1)(l), F.S.
Conducting frequent elopement drills will help your staff perform the duties necessary if a resident goes missing. Knowing what to do in the event of a resident eloping will greatly increase the possibility of finding them. You can also guarantee the AHCA survey team will inspect your elopement records to ensure compliance.