Your loved one is in a nursing home because she needs assistance. Since her admittance, the nursing home has been providing her with daily personal and nursing care. You trusted that the nursing home would continue to provide that care, but what happens if instead of caring for your loved one, a nursing home suddenly refuses to provide your loved one’s necessary care and asks your loved one to leave?
In Some Cases it May be a Wrongful Eviction
Nursing homes have the right to ask residents to leave in certain circumstances. For example, a resident may be asked to leave if the resident is expected to pay for services and does not, if the resident’s needs become too involved for the nursing home to handle safely, or if the resident no longer needs nursing home care. Typically, in these situations, the nursing home resident and the resident’s family should be provided with sufficient notice to find alternative safe living arrangements for the resident.
However, there are situations when a nursing home is not permitted to ask a resident to leave. A nursing home may be committing a wrongful discharge or eviction if:
- The nursing home asks a resident who is meeting her financial obligations to leave so that a more profitable resident can enter the nursing home.
- The nursing home resident, or the resident’s family, complains or is unpleasant. For example, a nursing home resident cannot be asked to leave because the resident or her relative regularly complains about the quality of the food or the temperature in her room.
- The nursing home resident has needs that are more challenging than other residents. Residents with dementia, for example, can require more care than other residents. However, if the nursing home is equipped to meet the needs of a resident with dementia then a resident with dementia cannot be asked to leave.
The potential consequences of a wrongful eviction should not be underestimated.
The Dangers of Wrongful Evictions
A nursing home resident whose residency is terminated can suffer significant injuries. The resident is not only losing the skilled care of the facility, but also her home. According to a December 2017 memo written by David R. Wright of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing home evictions can be traumatic and unsafe for residents. It removes residents from familiar surroundings and may end up moving residents far from their families and friends.
In addition to the upset, confusion, and potential isolation that an eviction may cause, a resident is also put at risk for all of the injuries that can happen during a nursing home move. This includes potentially dangerous mistakes being made with the resident’s medications and diet.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer If Your Loved One was Wrongfully Evicted
2015 is the most recent year for which data is available for nursing home discharges and evictions. In 2015, 9,192 complaints were made about nursing home discharges and evictions and that number had risen from similar complaints made in previous years. Some experts believe that this number is significantly lower than the actual number of wrongful discharges and evictions because many residents and families accept the decisions that are made by the nursing homes without complaint.
If your loved one is asked to leave a nursing home, she deserves to know why, and she should be provided with adequate planning time to find suitable and safe alternative living arrangements. If this did not happen and your loved one was injured as a result of the eviction or discharge, she may have a personal injury claim for nursing home abuse or neglect.
To learn more about how you can protect your loved one’s rights now, please contact us via this website or by phone to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an experienced nursing home injury lawyer. Additionally, we encourage you to download a free copy of our book, Fighting Back Against Nursing Home Abuse: What Families Need to Know to Help Their Loved One.