While you might not expect senior citizens to be evicted from nursing homes, that is precisely what is happening across the country. In fact, eviction has become the most common complaint about nursing homes. In California alone, more than 1,500 nursing home residents were evicted in 2016, which is a 73% increase since 2011. The reasons for these evictions vary, but most concern a patient’s behavior or medical symptoms. When an Alzheimer’s patient falls farther into dementia, when a senior citizen becomes combative with nursing home staff, or when a nursing home patient exhibits mental problems, some nursing homes are refusing to continue to house them. This causes big problems for senior citizens who need a certain level of care and for those that formerly were housed with their spouses. Being removed from the daily companionship of a spouse, familiar staff members, and nursing home resident friends all can be further damaging to both a senior citizen’s mental and physical health.
In response to these evictions, which have proliferated in the state of California, the legal wing of the AARP has filed a lawsuit against a California nursing home and its parent company for at least one resident’s eviction. This is the first time that the AARP has taken on a nursing home eviction case. Nursing home residents have certain rights under federal law, which some of these evictions may violate. For instance, a nursing home resident has certain rights under federal law to remain in a nursing home if he or she chooses. The nursing home cannot unfairly transfer or discharge you unless it’s necessary for your welfare, safety, or health, or that of others, the nursing home closes, you no longer need nursing home care, or the nursing home has not been paid. However, nursing homes must give you a 30-day written notice if they plan to discharge you, and they cannot discharge you if you are awaiting Medicaid coverage.
This disturbing trend of seniors becoming subject to nursing home evictions is occurring not only in the state of California, but nationwide. Forcing seniors to switch facilities or be placed far away from loved ones can have disastrous results for physical and mental health. Plus, the senior may no longer be in a safe environment. If a forcible change to in-home senior care or long-term facility care should lead to abuse, injuries, or theft, you may have legal grounds for a lawsuit against the individual and agency that caused the abuse or neglect. If you or a loved one is in this situation, you should definitely contact an experienced Wisconsin elder abuse and neglect attorney at Boller & Vaughan. We know how to protect your rights and potentially get you compensation for any injuries that occurred. When professional caregivers fail to meet the duty of care owed to you or your loved one, it is up to you to hold negligent Wisconsin home health care agencies responsible for their actions. Contact Boller & Vaughan today and see what assistance we can offer you and your family.