Elder care advocates are understandably up in arms following reports about questionable evictions from a Brooklyn facility catering to seniors. The sad situation is a reminder of the continuing struggles faced by so many local families in their quest for quality, reliable long-term care and support. It is also a troublesome sign that most communities remain drastically unprepared to provide the aid that will be needed in coming decades as the New York population ages.
NY Nursing Residents Evicted After Facility Closure
As reported by the NY Daily News last month, a group of over 100 Brooklyn seniors are currently scrambling to find alternative living arrangements following the announcement of the sudden closure of the Prospect Park Residence. The Park Slope facility has been a home for senior for over 15 years. But that will end in May, as the facility is slated to shut its door by the beginning of June.
The news was apparently a shock to residents, their family members, and even employees of the facility. The nursing home’s owner explained that finances were the cause of the closure, citing inadequate compensation and tax increases. Perhaps contributing to the closure were other caregiving problems faced by the home in recent years. A 2010 lawsuit claimed that the facility’s poor care led to a resident death. Just last year, another suit claimed that the facility was improperly licensed and that negligence led to at least three deaths of residents with dementia.
As soon as news of the sudden closure was made public, there was a local outcry. Several area elected officials issued a joint statement slamming the move as “cruel, heartless, and unacceptable.”
The Capital later reported that the evictions recently caught the eye of the New York Attorney General who is “engaged” in the matter, presumably to find a solution. Attorney General Schneiderman explained, “It is very hard to argue that it is reasonable conduct to tell vulnerable seniors you have 90 days to get out of your home.”
Despite the clear public engagement on the issue, it remains unknown whether there is any alternative to closing the facility. In fact, the NY Department of Health already approved the closure plan.
As the seniors living at the Prospect Park Residence learned all too harshly, the future is never certain. While taking time to plan ahead for that uncertainty can never eliminate all risk, preparation does go a long way. Contact our elder law estate planning attorneys today to see how we can help provide peace of mind.