No one wishes to end up in a nursing home or require assisted living care but for many Americans, it is a reality that will come true and needs to be planned for. When we do enter a nursing home or have our loved ones placed there, we expect the facility will look after residents and provide the appropriate care to ensure elders live their Golden Years in comfort and dignity.
However, because nursing homes and other skilled care facilities are for-profit business that look to maximize their income and payments, particular from federal entitlement programs like Medicaid, they sometimes make decisions that are not in the resident’s best interest. One of the most drastic measures a nursing home can take is evicting a resident and will often employ a variety of measures to see the process through.
Often times, nursing homes will justify an eviction by saying the facility simply cannot meet the resident’s needs. Excuses for why a nursing home cannot take care of a resident include that individual having dementia, being combative, or is non-weight bearing and needs assistance for even the simplest tasks. Other times, nursing homes will reevaluate residents after the facility converts to another type of assisted living facility and focuses only on taking care of patients with different medical and lifestyle needs.
To help avoid eviction, families should ask careful questions before placing a loved one in an assisted living facility. This can include what the facility can and will not do for a resident, which helps families to understand to what extend an assisted living facility can tolerate a person’s deteriorating condition. When reviewing the facility’s admission agreement, look carefully at the section on involuntary transfers to hospitals and inquire about the residence’s staffing levels.
Furthermore, it is important to understand your loved one’s legal rights as a tenant at an assisted living facility in New York. For starters, all evictions must be made in writing and give the resident 30-days notice to move out. New York elder law also gives residents the right to appeal their eviction to the New York State Department of Health and remain in the facility pending a review of medical records and the appeal determination.
Perhaps most importantly, do not rush to move your loved one out of a facility. Because New York laws give explicit rights to assisted living patients, it may not be necessary to transfer or move out.