Nursing homes are allowed to evict or discharge residents who cannot pay and no longer need their care. There are certain procedures they must legally follow to perform this discharge, however, including written notice with enough time for the resident to try to find new lodgings. But that’s not what’s happening.
Across the nation, more and more nursing homes are giving residents only a few days’ notice that they need to pay (usually hundreds of dollars per day) or leave the facility. This is unlawful eviction and in California, the number of complaints about wrongful discharges has increased 70% in the last five years!
There were over 1,500 complaints in 2016 alone about California assisted living facilities improperly evicting elderly residents. These vulnerable patients are forced “out into the cold,” in the words of victim Anita Willis. She spent five months moving from friends’ couches to the emergency room for necessary treatment after her San Jose nursing home gave her a choice: $336 dollars a day to stay, or leave.
She couldn’t afford to stay.
Why Are Nursing Homes Kicking Residents Out?
Many nursing home residents have their medical treatment and care covered temporarily by Medicare. Once Medicare no longer covers the costs, Medicaid kicks in and pays lower rates, which these facilities do not want to accept. So they evict the resident to clear up space for better-paying residents, even if that person has nowhere to go other than a homeless shelter. Some residents have been literally left on the street in front of a relative’s home, without any regard for the medical care they need.
How Can the Elderly Get Justice?
While California is making efforts to penalize facilities that take part in these practices, there is only so much the state can do. That is why direct civil action by the residents and families who have been victimized by these homes is the best way to see justice served. Predatory nursing homes rely on people being tired and hopeless, rather than fighting back against them.
If your loved one has been improperly evicted from a nursing home, call Siegel Law today at (562) 645-4145. We can discuss your options to fight back. Speaking to our Long Beach elder abuse attorney is free, and he can provide compassionate guidance on what to do next.