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Safe/Unsafe Leaving: A new way to think about an old problem of “elopements”


This is a virtual event, accessible online. Access instructions will be provided after registration.


Freedom to come and go is crucial to the experience of home and a high quality of life, and it supports physical activity and wellness. However, that freedom also involves risk. When a resident has cognitive impairment or a mobility limitation that may compromise their safety, most senior living communities will spend a lot of time trying to keep that resident safely in. This webinar is a must see for senior living leaders and care teams looking to create a safe leaving program that optimizes a sense of home and mitigates risk.


This webinar will provide you with the knowledge to:

  1. Define the key features of a safe leaving program.
  2. List safe leaving practices, including assessment of mobility and mentation, and unsafe leaving protections.
  3. Describe ways to work successfully with regulatory surveyors to avoid deficiencies when adopting a safe leaving program.


Susan Wehry, MD
  • Chief of Geriatrics

Susan Wehry, M.D., Chief of Geriatrics, University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, is a geriatric psychiatrist with over 30 years of experience as a physician leader and educator. During her career she has worked with policy makers, health and human service professionals, older adults and family caregivers throughout the United States.

In 2002 and 2007, she helped the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) develop national programming on mental health and individualized care planning in nursing homes. In 2009, she authored Oasis, an interdisciplinary person-centered curriculum that has helped transform dementia care, support mental health recovery and reduce inappropriate antipsychotic use and has actively partnered with CMS in the national initiative to improve dementia care.

During her tenure as Commissioner, the Department of Disabilities, Aging and Independent Living expanded home and community based services—including the award-winning SASH program—and Vermont rose to number one in national AHRQ senior health rankings. She was honored to represent Vermont at the 2015 White House Conference on Aging.