Nursing homes turn to eviction to drop difficult patients


Nursing homes are increasingly evicting their most challenging residents, advocates for the aged and disabled say, testing protections for some of society's most vulnerable.
News Story Associated Press (AP)
May 5, 2016
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Tags: Housing: Eviction, Nursing Homes

Organizations mentioned/involved: Community Legal Services (CLS) of Philadelphia, Justice in Aging


DETAILS

An Associated Press analysis of federal data from the Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program finds complaints about discharges and evictions are up about 57 percent since 2000. It was the top-reported grievance in 2014, with 11,331 such issues logged by ombudsmen, who work to resolve problems faced by residents of nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other adult-care settings.

“When they get tired of caring for the resident, they kick the resident out,” said Richard Mollot of the Long Term Care Community Coalition, a New York advocacy group.

That is often because the resident came to be regarded as undesirable — requiring a greater level of care, exhibiting dementia-induced signs of aggression, or having a family that complained repeatedly about treatment, advocates say. Federal law spells out rules on acceptable transfers, but the advocates say offending facilities routinely stretch permitted justifications for discharge. Even when families fight a move and win an appeal, some homes have disregarded rulings.

“It’s an epidemic,” said Sam Brooks, who has litigated evictions for Community Legal Services of Philadelphia. “It’s a hard thing to catch and it’s a hard thing to enforce.”