Whether an elderly loved one in your life is facing eviction from an Oceanside nursing home or from a skilled nursing facility elsewhere in San Diego County, it is important to recognize that evictions can result in incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect after a patient is forced to move into another facility quickly. At the same time, advocates argue that nursing home evictions are, in and of themselves, a form of elder abuse. According to a recent article in iAdvance Senior Care, the AARP Foundation and the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association have filed a lawsuit against a California nursing home following a patient eviction.
As the article emphasizes, the AARP Foundation and the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association hope that they will win the suit, and that it will set a precedent for other cases involving nursing home evictions in the state.
Nursing Home Evictions are a Form of Elder Abuse, Advocates Argue
In addition to filing a claim, the AARP and the Ombudsman Association have “asked the federal government to open a civil rights investigation into how California deals with nursing home evictions.” According to an AARP Foundation spokesperson, “the problem of patient dumping is one of the most troubling complaints of nursing home residents throughout the country.” He went on to clarify how “this is basically a form of abuse by nursing homes that dump these patients, especially Medicaid patients, to fill their beds with ‘better’ residents.” Unless there are consequences for these facilities, there is no incentive for them to cease these harmful acts.
What is the basis for the recent lawsuit? A nursing home in Sacramento evicted an elderly female resident after a brief hospital stay. The case started, according to court documents, when the patient “became aggressive with staff and threw plastic tableware.” The facility sent the patient to a nearby hospital for a psychological evaluation even though neither the patient nor any of her family members consented to this hospital transfer. On the same day she was admitted to the hospital, the hospital cleared the resident to return to the nursing home. However, the nursing home “refused to take her back, saying they couldn’t care for someone with her needs.”
Lack of Appropriate Care at Hospitals Until Patients Find New Facilities
The complaint alleges that, due to the nursing home’s decision to evict the patient, she had to remain in the hospital for approximately three months until she could find another nursing home that would accept her. Fortunately in this case, the patient has not alleged additional acts of elder abuse or neglect after moving into the subsequent facility.
However, in having to remain at the hospital for months, the patient was unable to receive the types of services and access to activities that would have been available—and beneficial—to the patients at the nursing home. In addition, the patient suffered additional injuries as a result of being confined to a hospital bed. Specifically, “she stopped talking and lost her ability to walk.” The patient’s husband currently resides in the California nursing home that evicted her.
Was an elderly loved one in your family recently evicted from a nursing home? An experienced Oceanside nursing home abuse attorney can discuss your options with you. You may be eligible to file a claim. Contact the Walton Law Firm to speak with an advocate today.
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(image courtesy of Alex Boyd)