It’s spreading across the nation and there is very little we can do about it. Nursing homes are evicting “difficult” residents, despite courtroom intervention, and now many experts believe we are on the verge of a new nursing home eviction epidemic. Is there anything we can do to stop it?
Why Are Nursing Homes Evicting People With Disabilities?
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program says that nursing home discharge and eviction complaints have risen by 57 percent since 2000, and the problem is only getting worse. Reports of adult-care facilities transferring patients have been coming in from all across the US, and although these facilities can only evict people who endanger others or can’t be kept safe, many experts believe that nursing homes are getting rid of residents who don’t fit that description.
The Long Term Care Community Coalition is part of a growing number of advocacy groups accusing nursing homes of evicting residents who are seen as undesirable—residents showing signs of dementia related aggression, residents who require a greater amount of care, or residents whose families complain about their treatment—and many of these residents happen to be people with disabilities.
How Can We Fight This Trend?
Families who have fallen victim to this rising trend have contacted lawyers and ombudsmen to help fight these evictions. However, even when these families win their court cases, some nursing homes are still refusing to let these residents return to their rooms, and why should they? A nursing home in Philadelphia that was cited for involuntary discharge didn’t even have to pay a fine for the infraction, which means that rebellious nursing homes don’t even have consequences to hold them accountable. This leaves many people with very few options to fight back, but new laws are trying to give more options to people with disabilities.
The Disability Integration Act is an effort to get insurances and states that provide long-term services and support to fund home and community based alternatives to institutionalization in a nursing home. If this bill passes, it could provide another option for people with disabilities who think a nursing home is their only option.