The AARP Foundation has filed a lawsuit on behalf of an elderly couple married 30 years after the wife, 83, was evicted and separated from her husband, 93. The foundation reports the wife, who has Alzheimer’s disease, was evicted without warning in March.
Although the nursing home has declined to comment on the pending case, court documents indicate the nursing home’s defense is likely to include allegations of aggression by the elderly woman toward staff. She reportedly threw some plastic tableware. The nursing home called for an ambulance, underwent a psychological evaluation – and the hospital found nothing wrong with her. However, the nursing home would not allow her to return, saying they are not able to care for her needs. Her son requested a hearing with the California Department of Health – a hearing that he won. But then the nursing home responded that the health department has no authority to enforce the ruling. That prompted the AARP Foundation’s legal arm to get involved. The foundation is now suing the nursing home on her behalf.
Although it’s reportedly the first time the foundation has taken up a case regarding nursing home eviction, it’s certainly not an isolated incident. In fact, NPR reports these “involuntary discharges” result in 9,000 complaints annually across the country. It’s the No. 1 complaint made about nursing homes, and several states’ attorneys general have gotten involved. For instance, Maryland’s attorney general is suing one chain nursing home for Medicaid fraud, alleging the firm charged for state services it never delivered – specifically, discharge planning. Continue reading →