If you have an aging loved one who ever has to go to a nursing home, beware of a nasty practice in which some of these facilities engage. It is disgusting to think that a nursing home will not only violate the law in refusing to allow its own resident back into the home after going to a hospital, but it will callously separate spouses by doing so. They prey on low-income Medicaid recipients.
That’s what happened to eighty-two-year-old Gloria Single who lived at Pioneer House, a nursing home that accepts Medicaid residents. She and her husband lived there together until she went to a hospital, expecting to return to Pioneer after she was released from the hospital. Instead, after she was medically cleared to return, Pioneer House refused to let her come home, thereby cruelly separating her from her husband. She now is staying in another home, still hoping to be with her husband again. We think this is outrageous!
Ms. Single would have been voiceless but for the advocacy of AARP Foundation, the affiliated charity of AARP. According to Foundation attorney Kelly Bagby who represents Ms. Single, she has a clear legal right to return to the place where she lived, and the nursing home’s practice of dumping her is clearly against the law. The lawsuit alleges that she is a victim of a corporate policy of evicting low-income residents to make room for more lucrative Medicare or private pay residents. In other words, they dump vulnerable people so they can make more money on other residents who are paid by better sources than Medicaid. Having interviewed the attorneys, I learned that they estimate at least 200 such illegal eviction cases in CA alone just in the last year.
If your own aging loved one is ever mistreated or dumped from a nursing home, know that he or she has rights that can be enforced. The place to start is with the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. From there, know that attorneys who work at AARP Foundation may take up the cause of your elder to enforce their rights.
It is our hope for her here at AgingParents.com that justice will be done and Ms. Single can be reunited with her husband before it is too late. For professional advice about your vulnerable aging loved ones, contact us at info@AgingParents.com. We care about them and you!
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