Moving into a nursing home is a stressful and scary thing for a senior citizen. You’re moving out of a home you have had for decades, where your kids grew up, and into a place where someone else is going to be responsible for all your daily needs. Then the worst happens just as you’re settled in, and you find out one day that you are being evicted from the home.
What do you do when this happens? Is it even legal? Learn whether you can be subject to nursing home eviction, under what circumstances it might happen, and what you can do to protect yourself.
Is Nursing Home Eviction Real?
Unfortunately, nursing home eviction does happen sometimes, and there are certain legal circumstances under which it can happen. Usually these cases result in situations when the facility can no longer handle the level of care that’s needed on a daily basis. Often it involves dementia, aggressive behavior, or too many overt demands from the family upon the facility.
Here’s the upside — there are Federal laws that clearly outline the situations when a facility can evict a resident, and if your circumstance doesn’t match, then they can’t kick you out. However, many facilities “stretch” their rights in this area, and in many cases families don’t fight the situation because they’re not aware that the eviction is illegal.
What the Law Says
Current Federal law defines the circumstances under which a resident can be dismissed from a facility. For the eviction to be legal, the following circumstances must exist:
- The facility cannot meet the needs of the resident
- The resident no longer needs the facility’s services due to improving health
- The resident’s continued presence endangers other individuals, either physically or medically
- The resident has failed to pay for their stay
- The facility closes down
Things to Remember
Staff members cannot threaten to kick you out of a nursing home. Doing so can be considered a violation of the Nursing Home Reform Act. Any eviction must be issued in writing, and must inform both the resident and their representatives of their rights. It must also include all relevant information, including valid reasons for the discharge.
If you are ejected from the facility, you have ten days to file an appeal, and a hearing will be scheduled to make sure your rights are met. It’s important to fight for your rights, because even though it’s not ethical, you could find yourself blacklisted from other facilities as well.
Paying Your Bills
Paying for your stay is one area over which you can have control, if you take the right steps. The right estate plan, financial plan, power of attorney and Medicare plans can make sure that your assets are protected and you still have the money to cover your needs while you’re in the care facility.
Getting this all in place requires the help of a trustworthy and experienced estate planning attorney like those at Stano Law. If you’re in Cuyahoga County and need help getting your estate in order, contact our law offices for help today!