There are many different reasons why a nursing home may feel the need to remove a patient. There are also numerous reasons why an elderly patient may desire to be removed from a nursing home. Leaving or relocating from any adult care facility is typically the choice of the elderly patient, unless the patient is diagnosed as mentally incapable of making that decision. In many scenarios, removing a patient from a nursing home involves legal terms that may be confusing to the elder’s family.
Removing a Nursing Home Patient
Family members and loved ones may worry about a nursing home patient if they feel that the adult care facility is not ideal. Depending on the nursing home patient’s exact medical needs, the adult care facility may not be certified to treat the specific health condition. In some cases, a nursing home may be certified to care for the elderly patient’s health condition. However, there may be other adult care facilities that offer expertise in an area that is most relevant for the patient.
In cases where love ones disagree on living conditions, the disagreement does not matter if the elderly patient is mentally able to make his or her own decisions. The choice of adult care is up to the elderly patient and his or her financial resources. If the nursing home patient is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other forms of cognitive problems, the choice of living facility is up to the designated legal advocate. This may be a spouse, child, sibling, patient advocate, lawyer, or any other person that has been given the power of attorney by the elderly patient.
Suspected Nursing Home Abuse
In the event of suspected nursing home abuse or negligence, a loved one may remove the patient from the nursing home. This should be done in conjunction with contacting the local authorities for an investigation of the nursing home. If a one patient has experienced elder abuse from the nursing home staff, it is likely that other patients are enduring similar nursing home abuse problems.
Removal after Nursing Home Negligence
Catherine McCann is a 92-year-old Alzheimer’s patient. In late 2012, while residing at Lutheran Home for the Aged at Arlington Heights, a fly was allowed to get into her ear and lay eggs. McCann was found to have 57 maggots in her ear. She was taken to a local hospital for emergency surgery. It was estimated that the maggots were in McCann’s ear for 3 days prior to the surgery.
In earlier years, McCann had undergone a surgery that created a large ear canal in her left ear. The nursing home staff claimed that McCann’s previous surgery, combined with communication problems due to Alzheimer’s disease, made it nearly impossible to identify the problem until the infestation grew. However, McCann was prescribed ear drops right before the incident occurred. Her husband, John McCann, is currently suing for nursing home negligence and emotional distress.
Nursing Home Forces Patient to Move
A nursing home facility has the right to remove or relocate an elderly patient, against his or her will, in the following cases:
– The elderly patient is disruptive.
– The elderly patient risks harm to other individuals at the nursing home facility.
– The nursing home facility is no longer capable of caring for or treating the elder patient, due to his or her health conditions.
– The elder patient is unable to meet financial requirements.
– The nursing home has lost a certification that is required to care for the elderly patient.
– The nursing home staff is on strike.
– The nursing home is closing.
Illegally Forcing Nursing Home Patient to Move
In some cases, a nursing home may attempt to illegally force the removal or transfer of an elderly patient. Many nursing homes warn elderly patients that they will need to leave the adult care facility when their allotted Medicare days run out. This may be stated in the nursing home’s original contract with the elderly patient. When this happens, the nursing home typically claims that there aren’t any available “long term beds” to transfer the patient into.
When a nursing home removes a patient against the patient’s will, 30 days written notice must be supplied to the elderly patient and the patient’s advocate. At that time, the nursing home patient must be supplied with the reasons for nursing home removal or transfer. Furthermore, the patient must be supplied with instructions on how to file a nursing home appeal to challenge the move.
Moving from Nursing Home by Choice
Oftentimes, an elderly patient may wish to move from a nursing home or to transfer between nursing homes. If an elderly patient feels uncomfortable at the current nursing home, the patient should tour other adult care facilities in the area. It is best for an elderly person to be accompanied by a patient advocate or family member while touring other adult care facilities.
On occasion, the patient’s health may improve during his or her stay at the nursing home. This can enable the elderly patient to live at home, with family members. This does not mean that the elderly person will never require a caregiver’s assistance. It simply means that the elderly patient requires less supervision than before, which allows the elder to enjoy a more familial home environment. This can also save financial resources that may be needed later.
“Senior Citizens Handbook – Nursing Homes.” Illinois Legal Aid. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 May 2013. http://www.illinoislegalaid.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=home.dsp_content&contentID=1392
Zekman, Pam. “2 Investigators: 57 Maggots Removed From Nursing Home Patient’s Ear.” CBS Chicago [Chicago] 09 Nov 2012, n. pag. Print. http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/11/29/2-investigators-57-maggots-removed-from-nursing-home-patients-ear/