A nursing home resident with Alzheimer’s disease was evicted without warning—and separated from her husband.
Now the AARP Foundation and the California Long-Term Care Ombudsman Association are taking her former nursing home, Pioneer House of Sacramento, and its management company, RHF, to court. Attorneys have asked the federal government to open a civil rights investigation into how California deals with nursing home evictions. They hope to set a precedent to stop other illegal evictions.
In court documents, Pioneer House says Gloria Single became aggressive with staff and threw plastic tableware. The nursing home sent her to a hospital for a psychological evaluation without Single or her family’s consent. The hospital cleared her to return the same day, but the nursing home refused to take her back, saying they couldn’t care for someone with her needs.
Pioneer House continued to refuse to readmit her even though the California Department of Health Care Services ordered the facility to give Single the first available bed back in May.
“The problem of patient dumping is one of the most troubling complaints of nursing home residents throughout the country,” says William Alvarado Rivera, AARP Foundation’s senior vice president for litigation. “This is basically a form of abuse by nursing homes that dump these patients, especially Medicaid patients, to fill their beds with ‘better’ residents. Until someone holds them accountable, they can keep doing these things.”
According to the complaint, Single was stuck in the hospital for about three months until she was accepted by another facility. She didn’t receive the services and activities she would have received at home. Consequently, she stopped talking and lost her ability to walk because she was confined to a hospital bed. Single wants to return to Pioneer House so she can be reunited with her husband.
Read more: Nursing homes: Stop Dumping Patients