Nursing Home Evictions Increasing

Elder Law advocates claim that nursing homes are increasingly turning to improper evictions to rid themselves of patients they view as undesirable or difficult.

Under federal law nursing homes can only evict residents under limited circumstances. However, elder law advocates claim that increasingly nursing homes are not limiting themselves to those circumstances. Instead, the nursing homes are evicting residents who are difficult to care for because of dementia, residents who have family members that complain about the care and residents who are otherwise difficult.

According to the Seattle Times in "Nursing homes turn to eviction to drop difficult patients" evidence from federal data appears to back the advocates' claims.

In fact, complaints to the Long Term Care Ombudsman Project are up 57% since 2000.

This is a big problem for nursing home residents and their families because most of the time there are few other options for the evicted residents other than staying in a hospital.

While residents have the right to appeal the evictions it is costly to do so. Sometimes, even when the resident wins the appeal, government agencies still do not require the nursing home to take the resident back.

To make matters worse, nursing homes found to have acted improperly are rarely, if ever, punished or fined.

Nursing homes themselves disagree with the advocates.

The American Care Association claims that the evictions are proper, but does agree that a national policy discussion is necessary to come to terms with the increasing number of nursing home residents who are difficult to care for.

Reference: Seattle Times (May 8, 2016) "Nursing homes turn to eviction to drop difficult patients"

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