What are the legal responsibilities of the nursing home and cab company ?

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You need to be proactive on this with the NH. If you are MPOA, then you request in writing that she is not allowed to leave unless she is accompanied by you and whomever else is on a very short list that you provide.

If you think this is very likely to happen, then don't let her have any cash. The NH can easily do a resident trust fund so she has to go and sign off for any $ taken out so she can get $ to buy things like candy or magazines but getting funds could be the trigger that she is going for an "escape" and the staff will be on the lookout.

Also there is nothing like getting friendly with the front desk, they usually know everything and can easily keep an eye out for potential escape. There is a couple of fast food places close to my mom's NH and the front desk gals and the nursing staff for her wing each get a small gift card from Wendy's or Taco Cabana on the odd occasion. Works wonders for helpfulness.
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Interesting question.

I would guess that the NH has some legal responsibilities to keep track of its residents. I doubt that a cab company does. If your mother said, "I'm through visiting my friend now and I'm ready to go home," how is a cab driver supposed to know any different?

But that is just a guess, and I'd be interested to hear more informed opinions.

Once my husband wanted to stay home from his Adult Day Program to watch a sporting event. No, he needed to go. Much to my surprise he showed up at home a couple hours early that day -- he simply called the transportation company and asked them to come take him home early. Well on that particular day, no harm done. I had already handled my scheduled errands, etc. and happened to be home, but it would not have been so good if he'd come home to an empty house, especially since he can't always remember how to get in on his own. I called the Day Program. They had not missed him yet, and the director about had apoplexy hearing that he was at home watching sports! How could he have just walked out without them knowing it?! They had staff meetings and tightened up some procedures, but I can see how it could happen. Participants do leave at various times, for dental appointments, etc. and the mere fact that someone was walking out the door and into approved transportation at an odd time would not necessarily draw attention.

In the wonderful book "Water for Elephants" the elderly gentleman who is the central character goes missing from his NH when the family member who was to visit him fails to show up on time. That was quite believable.

It must be a real challenge for care centers!
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