Evictions from nursing homes and other senior care facilities have been rising for the last five years, especially here in California. As costs keep increasing, many seniors find that their insurance no longer covers the price of their care in the place where they have been living, sometimes for many years.
Complaints of improper evictions are rising along with it. The process is traumatic and often leaves vulnerable seniors without a place to stay. Along with these evictions there are often complaints of elder abuse and mistreatment as well.
If your loved one is suffering from a potential eviction there are resources which could help.
A dramatic increase
Complaints of improper evictions have increased 70 percent in the last five years. In 2016 they reached 1,504 in the state of California. This number is expected to keep increasing as costs rise and the population ages in coming years.
There is a process which has to be followed for all evictions, and everyone by law is guaranteed 30 days' notice before an eviction can take place. Many seniors find themselves in this situation because they no longer need care, and for reasons other than simply not being able to pay. But the increase of complaints shows that procedures are not always followed as they should be, and many residents have no place to go.
The potential for abuse
Even in legitimate cases, the process of leaving a nursing home is stressful. This increases the possibility of abuse as the procedure unfolds.
If your family member is facing eviction you know how traumatic it is. It can also be dangerous or even life threatening if there is no place to go. In all cases, it's important for you to stand up for yourself or your loved one and make sure that the situation is not turning into a case of elder abuse. This is true for all facilities, whether long-term or short-term care.
There are resources for you
In San Diego alone, over 9,000 cases per year of elder abuse are reported. Some of these involve eviction or potential eviction of patients deemed to be "troublesome" or otherwise difficult for the home to properly care for.
The San Diego County District Attorney's office has resources for reporting senior abuse.
Also, experienced attorneys can provide nursing home residents and their families with guidance on rights and options when possible abuse occurs. It's important to reach out and always remember that you are not alone in this struggle. Everyone has rights and they have to be protected.
Know your rights
No matter what, it is critical for you or your loved ones to know your rights and be sure that the law is followed. There are legitimate evictions from care facilities, but the rise in complaints shows that this is not always the case. It's important that our seniors are cared for with respect and dignity, and elder abuse is never acceptable in any way.